Resources

This is where you'll find several articles written to take you deeper into the many discussions around each of our four practice areas. If you're looking for more answers to your questions, please contact us today.

In Person Notary Requirements Suspended During COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 8, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott suspended certain statutes concerning appearance before a notary public to execute a self-proved will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a directive to physician, or an oath of an executor, administrator, or guardian. These suspensions temporarily allow for appearance before a notary public via …

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Form 1023 Revisions and Required Electronic Submission

The IRS is revising Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and its instructions, to help charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Effective January 31, 2020, applications for recognition of exemption on Form 1023 must be submitted electronically online at www.pay.gov. The IRS will provide a grace …

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What does the SECURE Act mean for your conduit trust?

If you have an IRA trust as the beneficiary of your IRA, you may need to revisit the trust with your attorney if 1) your IRA is a traditional IRA 2)  your IRA trust is a conduit trust (i.e. a “pass through trust”). Conduit trusts have been a common tool used 1) to keep spendthrifts …

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Are there different types of guardianships and alternatives to guardianship?

Yes. A Guardian of the Person is appointed by the court to take care of the physical well-being of a ward and a Guardian of the Estate is appointed to care for a ward’s property. Often both a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate are appointed and this can be the …

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Who determines incapacity in a guardianship?

Only a court can determine that a person is incapacitated and in need of a guardian. Only a court can define the scope and duration of a guardian’s authority. A court makes this determination based on a review of a Certificate of Medical Examination made by a licensed physician and a hearing with the ward …

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What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal process designed to protect vulnerable persons (including as a result of age (under 18), disease, injury, developmental disability, or physical disability) from abuse, neglect (by self or third parties), and exploitation. Guardianship provides for management of the person and/or the management of his or her money while preserving, to the largest …

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What probate alternatives are available?

While a probate may be necessary to wind up the affairs of a decedent, sometimes a more efficient method is available.  Enter…probate alternatives. Some probate alternatives available include: Affidavit of Heirship What is it?  A sworn statement of facts, corroborated by 2 people via additional sworn statements, concerning the decedent’s family history and the identity …

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Are there different types of probate?

Yes.  There are generally two overarching types of probate: Probate of a will as a muniment of title-a shorter form of probate available only if there are no debts of the decedent.  Debts secured by real property are allowed.  Note that even though permissible, this type of probate might not be preferable in certain circumstances. …

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Is probate necessary for every individual who passes away?

No! Even if there is a will, there may not be a need to probate it. There are several instances where probate may not be necessary: If the decedent’s estate is entirely composed of non probate assets. If a viable probate alternative exists. Note that “I/Mom/Dad/Sister is not having trouble accessing accounts or having any …

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What is probate anyway?

It helps to have the vocabulary straight.  In general, “probate” is the legal process of winding up the affairs of someone who has passed away.  The bundle of assets and liabilities a person leaves behind is often referred to as an “estate”.  The person who passed away is often referred to as the “decedent”. An …

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