What a Tangled Web We Weave By Signing Documents We Don’t Read

One of the questions we ask our estate planning clients is what documents they have already signed that might dictate how an asset is treated upon their death. The answer we usually get is, “Uhhhhh… I don’t know.”  If this…
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Going, Going, Gone: True Gifts Can’t Be Taken Back

What would you do if you thought a family heirloom was being misused? Or your grandmother’s deathbed wishes disrespected? A distraught letter writer asked the Slate advice columnist, “Dear Prudence,” for some advice on this topic, which many families have…
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Epstein Signed A New Will Just Days Before His Death

Just two days before he took his own life, accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein executed a new estate plan. It provides a glimpse at what assets might be available to his alleged victims but also keeps many things about his…
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R-E-S-P-E-C-T Her Wishes

When Aretha Franklin passed away, it was widely reported that she died without an estate plan in place. Now, three hand-written documents have been discovered that seem to outline her end of life goals. Do a few notes found underneath…
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Figuring Out What To Do When Your Family Fails To Live Up To Their Promises

They say blood is thicker than water, but sometimes promises made between family members don’t hold water. Some of the most heart-rending cases our firm has ever been involved with are situations where broken promises between family members make years…
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“Goin’ Through the Big D” Requires More Than a Division of Assets

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head that you just can’t get out? Scientists call them “earworms” and they are doing research on the phenomenon to determine why our brains seem to enjoy and hate them at…
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Where Do You Think This Millionaire Wanted His Money To Go?

A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek is a poignant reminder that there are laws dictating what will happen if you fail to make an estate plan. The story explains how government officials and heir hunters tracked down the estranged family…
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Yours, Mine, and Ours: Estate Planning In a Community Property State

Most laws in the United States have their roots in English Common Law. The original 13 colonies were British colonies, governed by British laws, and after the Revolution many British laws were adopted as the foundation of the new country’s…
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Legal Lingo: What’s The Difference Between A Revocable And An Irrevocable Trust?

Talking with some attorneys about your end of life plans can be like trying to communicate with someone from a different planet. Latin phrases and acronyms get thrown around to impress you, or to justify their prices. And nobody seems…
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Estate Planning Tips From A Texas Hero

The life of Sam Houston is the stuff of legend. He left home at a young age to live with the Cherokee, led the Texian Army to victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, and is the only man elected…
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