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Wilson County Probate LawyerPlanning for the future is an essential aspect of caring for your family members and other loved ones, and this includes writing a will. Your will describes how your possessions are distributed to beneficiaries and serves as a notice of your final wishes. In this blog, we will discuss what happens if an individual passes away without a will, known as dying intestate. Texas law specifically describes how assets are distributed in the event that a person passes away before he or she creates a will. Read on to learn more.

Distribution Of Assets If a Person Dies Intestate

If you do not create a last will and testament, you give up the right to decide how your property is distributed to family members upon your death. Instead, state laws dictate how assets will be distributed. Your relationship with surviving family members largely determines intestate succession in Texas.

For example, if you die and have a surviving spouse but no children, the spouse inherits your property. If you have children but no living spouse, parents, or siblings, the children inherit everything. If you do not have a spouse or children, your parents, or siblings may inherit your property.


Wilson County Estate Planning LawyerEstate planning is a crucial responsibility that many people put off as long as possible. While it is understandable that many would procrastinate this complicated and, at times, emotional process, having an estate plan is crucial. Whether you are in your 20s or in your 80s, it is important to have a plan in place for how you are assets should be managed during your life and distributed after your death.

Failing to create an estate plan means that your assets will be distributed according to Illinois intestacy laws. By not creating an estate plan, you essentially give up your right to have a say in how your possessions are distributed to heirs.

A last will and testament is the foundation of most estate plans, but it is not your only option. A revocable living trust offers significant advantages and can be a useful option for some individuals.


San Antonio Residential Real Estate LawyerFew life events are as exciting as purchasing a new home. Whether this will be your first time as a homeowner, or you are upgrading to a new residence, staying grounded is crucial. Mistakes and oversights during the home-buying process can lead to nasty surprises during closing.

Celebrating Your New Home with Expensive Purchases Before Closing

One of the first things people want to do once they have purchased a new home is buy appliances, decorations, or other items for the home. While this is certainly understandable, making large purchases before the deal is closed can result in heartbreak. Large purchases affect your debt profile, increasing the risk of being denied your mortgage loan. You may have been approved for a mortgage before the purchases, but now that circumstances have changed, the lender could back out.

Opening a new line of credit before the purchases are finalized can have the same devastating impact on your ability to secure a mortgage and acquire the home you have your eyes set on. It is best to wait until closing is complete before opening any new lines of credit or making any large purchases.


Bexar County Employment LawyerCreating a detailed employee handbook is one of the best things an employer can do to communicate work expectations, formalize policies and procedures, foster a positive company culture, and reduce the risk of litigation. Unfortunately, many companies neglect this crucial responsibility or rely on an employee handbook that is outdated, vague, or unenforceable.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the most important elements to include in your employee handbook. For personalized advice catered to your company’s specific needs, work with a San Antonio business law attorney familiar with employment concerns.

Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policies

Discrimination, sexual harassment, and related issues have never been more pressing than they are now. A lawsuit against your company alleging discrimination or harassment has the potential to completely derail your business’s success, harming your company’s reputation permanently. Your employee handbook must clearly state your company's policy regarding harassment and discrimination, including how an employee should report harassment or discrimination.


Bexar County Estate Planning LawyerCreating a will, trust, and other estate planning documents is a crucial responsibility that many people procrastinate as long as possible. This hesitancy is understandable. After all, it is very uncomfortable to consider your own death.

However, estate planning is important for every adult, regardless of age, health, or income level, and discussing your estate plans with your loved ones is an essential part of the estate planning process. It is important for key individuals to understand their roles in end-of-life decision-making and for beneficiaries to know what to expect in terms of inheritance.

Discussing your estate plans ahead of time can give you valuable peace of mind and help reduce the chances of a will contest or other legal disputes upon your death. As you prepare to have “the talk” with your friends and family, consider the following tips.


San Antonio Attorney for Car DealershipsOwning and operating an automotive dealership comes with its fair share of complexities and challenges. Dealerships may find themselves in legal disputes with customers, vendors, and other parties. They must comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations - and even a simple oversight can lead to significant penalties for non-compliance.

If you currently own a dealership or plan too soon, understanding your legal responsibilities is crucial. Consider working with a business law attorney who understands the unique intricacies involved in this type of business and can help steer you in the right direction. In this blog, we will discuss just some of the many laws and regulations you need to be aware of as a car dealership owner.

Used Car Buyer’s Guide

The Federal Trade Commission Buyers Guide law requires certain information to be prominently displayed in a used car that is for sale. You'll need to clearly state whether the vehicle comes with a warranty, and if so, what the warranty covers and for how long. You must also include the vehicle make, model, and year, as well as the vin number. Failure to comply with FTC regulations can lead to costly civil penalties.


Comal County Real Estate LawyerWhen preparing to sell your home, there are seemingly countless decisions to make. One of the most crucial decisions involved with a sale is whether you will work with a real estate agent or sell your home on your own. If you are the type of person who likes to take matters into your own hands and you are looking to reduce expenses, you may be interested in a “for sale by owner” (FSBO) transaction. However, it is important to be aware of the advantages and potential disadvantages of an FSBO sale.

Why Would Someone Want an FSBO Sale?

The main reason that homeowners look into FSBO sales is that they want to avoid paying a commission fee to the listing agent. Depending on your home's value, a commission fee can represent a significant financial loss. Selling your home on your own avoids this expense.

Another reason people may want to sell their home without the assistance of a real estate agent is to streamline the process and complete the sale more quickly. According to one study, just under 80 percent of FSBO homes sold within two weeks. FSBO is also a popular option for selling a home to a family member, friend, or someone the seller already knows.


Wilson County Estate Planning LawyerWhile estate planning often focuses on the distribution of assets after a person's death, it is also essential to plan for the possibility of incapacitation. An unexpected injury or severe illness can happen to anybody. Establishing a power of attorney allows you to designate an individual to speak on your behalf when you cannot communicate your wishes yourself. However, choosing the person or persons who will act as your power of attorney can be a significant challenge. Keep the following considerations in mind as you choose your power of attorney.

Consider the Characteristics You Are Looking for in a Power of Attorney

Acting as power of attorney for somebody else is a major responsibility. Start by making a list of the characteristics you are looking for in a power of attorney agent. Of course, it is important to choose somebody who is trustworthy. This person will be tasked with making medical or financial decisions on your behalf, so you want to make sure they will make the decisions in accordance with your wishes. It may be helpful to select somebody who has similar personal or religious beliefs to yours.

Also, consider whether any potential agent has the level of assertiveness needed to handle the situation. Is your family likely to argue about your medical care if you are incapacitated? Will this person need to stand up to opinionated in-laws or extended family members? Consider how your unique situation will influence your needs.


Wilson County Business LawyerMany businesses staff their company with a mix of independent contractors and employees. They may rely on employees to manage departments and handle everyday operations, while they rely on independent contractors to provide specific services on an as-needed basis. Unfortunately, many businesses find themselves in hot water because they accidentally confuse these worker classifications.

Texas Law Regarding Worker Misclassification

The differences between employees and contractors may seem obvious at first glance, but knowing how to classify a worker is often more difficult than it seems. The Texas Workforce Commission lists 20 points to consider when determining how to classify a worker, such as:

  • Contractors receive instruction regarding how, when, and where work must be performed while contractors have a much greater degree of freedom with regard to how work is completed.


Wilson County Real Estate LawyerRenting property to tenants can be lucrative and personally rewarding for Texas real estate owners. However, it is vital to ensure that the terms of a rental agreement are clearly outlined in an enforceable legal document. Residential lease agreements with missing provisions, vague language, or unclear terms put you at risk of disputes and costly litigation. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your lease agreement protects you and your tenants.

Writing a Strong Residential Lease Agreement

The lease serves as the foundation of the tenant-landlord relationship. It is important that the document is carefully drafted, outlining all the necessary legal details of the arrangement. The following are some essential elements to include in a Texas residential lease agreement:

  • Rent payments - One of the most important issues to clarify in your lease agreement is the amount of rent to be paid by tenants. Make sure to include how much the rent is, when rent is due, and how the tenants should pay the rent. Go into detail about the acceptable payment methods, what happens if a rent check bounces, and whether late fees will be charged if rent is late.


Comal County Estate Planning LawyerWhen discussing estate plans, people often emphasize the financial aspects of the estate planning process, such as asset distribution and tax issues. However, estate planning involves much more than property-related decisions.

A living will is an estate planning document used to make decisions about medical treatment. Have you ever thought about whether you would want to receive supplemental feeding or artificial ventilation if you became terminally ill? What are your thoughts about organ donation?  A living will answer these questions and more. When creating a living will, you can decide what medical treatments you would want to receive if you become incapacitated. Drafting a living will is not only important for you, but also for your loved ones.

A Living Will Lets You Determine What Medical Treatment You Will Recieve

A living will is used to make decisions about medical treatment and end-of-life care in advance. Medical providers will use the information in a living will to determine how to proceed if you fall into a coma or experience another incapacitating medical issue.


Comal County Estate Planning LawyerProbate is the process of confirming that a deceased person’s assets are distributed correctly. If the person had a valid estate plan, the assets are distributed according to that plan. If the person did not have a will or any other estate planning documents addressing asset distribution, the assets are distributed according to Texas's intestate succession laws.

With regard to real estate, the process of passing a home down to heirs varies in complexity. There are several estate planning options available that greatly reduce or eliminate the role of probate in a transfer of real estate property. However, if an individual passes away without setting up estate planning instruments designed to avoid probate, the process is much more complicated.

Options for Avoiding Probate when Transferring a Home, Rental Property, or Vacation Home

A person’s home is often one of the most valuable assets they own. If you intend to transfer your home or another real estate property to your loved ones upon your death, make sure you understand the various ways of doing so. You can save your surviving loved ones substantial time and expense by designing your estate plans in a way that avoids probate for real estate assets.


Wilson County Estate Planning LawyerFor many people, one of the biggest concerns regarding estate planning is that their family members will argue over the terms of asset distribution. When this happens, the situation may lead to a will contest which can cost substantial time and money for everyone involved. Even more concerningly, will contests can lead to family disputes and intense animosity that lasts years.

To prevent these arguments, some estate plans include a no-contest clause or forfeiture clause. A no-contest clause states that if any beneficiary of an estate challenges the terms of the will in court, they may forfeit their inheritance altogether. Some states do not allow no-contest clauses. However, these provisions are allowed in Texas estate plans.

What is a No-Contest Clause in a Will?

A no-contest clause discourages a beneficiary from contesting or challenging the will. If a beneficiary does contest the will, this clause may allow the executor to exclude that beneficiary from receiving their inheritance. For example, a no-contest clause may say, "If any person contests or attempts to contest the validity of this agreement, he or she forfeits his or her share of the inheritance."


san antonio estate planning lawyer Estate planning is an important process that involves making arrangements for managing and distributing your assets and property after your death. Despite its importance, many people put off estate planning or ignore it, leaving their assets vulnerable to unintended consequences. Failing to plan can result in your assets being distributed in ways you never intended, leading to possible family disputes and financial losses.

Today, we will discuss the myriad of misconceptions surrounding estate planning. If you are interested in estate planning, consider contacting an experienced estate planning attorney who can be your legal guide as you navigate the various aspects of the estate planning process. 

Brief Overview of What Having Assets Means

First, let us discuss what having assets mean. Having assets means that an individual or entity owns property, investments, or other valuable possessions that have financial value. Assets can include physical property such as real estate, vehicles, or jewelry and intangible assets such as stocks, bonds, patents, or trademarks. Assets can also include cash or money in bank accounts. Essentially, anything that has value and can be converted into cash or used to generate income is considered an asset. Through estate planning, you can take measures to protect your assets.


Wilson County Probate LawyerProbate is the legal process that settles an estate of someone dies. The process involves the court-supervised distribution of the deceased person’s assets and the payment of their debts and taxes. It also helps to determine the validity of the deceased person’s will, identify their assets and liabilities, and pay any outstanding debts and taxes. When a will is present, probate aids in the distribution of remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries as specified. 

The process can be rife with stress, particularly as family members try to balance the grief of their loved one’s death with the necessity of taking care of the deceased person’s estate. Today, we are going to review common misconceptions surrounding probate so that you understand the facts surrounding the process. If you ever need estate planning or probate assistance, contact an attorney who can guide you through the process while protecting your rights. 

Common Probate Misconceptions

The following are some of the most common misconceptions regarding probate:


San Antonio probate lawyerLosing a loved one is never easy. The aftermath of a loved one’s death can be an emotional and confusing time for surviving family members. One of the many responsibilities that often arise after a loved one passes away is settling all matters pertaining to your loved one’s estate. This involves making arrangements to distribute the deceased person’s property and assets. This can be a challenging task, especially when family members are grieving. Still, taking care of these matters is crucial to ensure the deceased’s wishes are honored and minimize potential conflicts among family members. 

Balancing the loss of your loved one with the responsibilities of taking care of their estate can seem overwhelming, but it is possible with the proper legal guidance. Today, we will discuss considerations for anyone trying to balance their grief with the need to perform duties related to your loved one’s estate. If your loved one passed away and you are wondering how to move forward with any outstanding legal responsibilities, consider contacting an experienced estate planning attorney who will ensure that you understand your rights and can move forward confidently as you navigate this challenging time. 

Considerations for Navigating the Legal Aftermath of a Loved One’s Death

First, it will be important to identify the deceased person’s assets, including property, investments, bank accounts, and personal belongings. This information is crucial in determining the distribution of the estate, and it is important to keep accurate records of all assets and liabilities. Next, it is essential to understand the terms of any existing will or trust. In most cases, a will must be validated during probate, which means that the court will ultimately decide how best to divide your loved one’s assets. This entire process can be complex, so it is important to hire an attorney to assist you in ensuring the process is followed lawfully. 


San Antonio probate administration attorney Probate is a legal process that settles a deceased person’s estate and can involve multiple steps, such as inventorying assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries. In most cases, probate is not an enjoyable process and can be very difficult for families. The process can be highly complex and stir up deep-seeded emotional and familial conflicts, particularly if there is dispute regarding the distribution of assets or interpretation of the will

Today, we will look at some of the most common challenges families may face when navigating the probate process. While the process can be rife with difficulties, having an experienced probate attorney to help guide you through the process can be enormously beneficial. 

Challenges Faced by Families During Probate

When a loved one dies, the looming probate process can seem daunting. This sentiment is understandable. The following are challenges that many families face during probate:


Bexar County estate planning lawyerThere is no question that estate planning is a hugely important process that can have significant implications for someone’s life. Estate planning is a great way to provide security and guidance to your loved ones and relatives. If you have done any reading on estate planning, you have probably come across lots of information that discusses why trusts are, in some cases, a better alternative to wills, especially as a preferred means of testamentary transfer. While it is true that trusts do have a lot of benefits that a will cannot provide, it is also true that for some people, creating a will makes more sense than creating a trust. 


In this blog, we will discuss specific situations where creating a will rather than a trust may make more sense. Furthermore, if you are interested in creating a will or would like to inquire about starting an estate plan, contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who will work to ensure your rights remain protected throughout the process and that your estate planning goals can be lawfully met.  


Comal County estate planning lawyerIt is not uncommon for people to treat their pets as if they were a member of their own families. Animals often serve as close companions to their human counterparts. But what happens if someone has a pet that has the chance to outlive them? Well, if you are the loving owner of a pet, you will be happy to learn there is indeed a way to include your pet as a part of your estate plan to ensure they will be cared for in the event of your death. Trusts involving animal care are authorized in the Texas trust code. 

If you are interested in including your pet in a trust, understand that various requirements govern the use of pet trusts. For example, the animal in question must have been alive during the grantor's lifetime. If you are interested in utilizing a trust to care for your pet in the event they outlive you, consider contacting a skilled attorney, as pet trusts can be just as complex as any other form of trust. 

What You Should Know About Trusts for Animals 

Contrary to trusts involving humans, which can be administered decades after the trust's creator has passed away, pet trusts are generally more temporary. Typically, pets will not live past 20 years old. However, there are exceptions, like species of birds that can live close to the length of a human life or even tortoises that may live for 100+ years. But for most animals, the trust will not need to be long-lasting. A pet trust will automatically terminate once the animal being cared for has passed away. As a result, it may be wise to include a clause governing what should be done with the remaining funds in the trust. In cases where the assets within a pet trust surpass the amount needed to care for the animal, the assets may be allocated to beneficiaries named in your will. In the event you do not have a will, the assets may be given to intestate heirs. 


San Antonio estate planning lawyerIn essence, estate planning is a way for someone to prepare for the unexpected. Within estate planning, powers of attorney can serve as a protective measure in case you ever find yourself in a situation where you cannot make decisions for yourself and thus cannot manage your estate. In a situation like this, a power of attorney would step in and begin the process of managing your affairs. While powers of attorney are often of more concern for older members of the population, that is not to say it is unwise for a young and healthy person to be prepared for a situation that involves them being incapacitated. In a case like this, powers of attorney would step in and be able to make medical decisions or pay the bills of the incapacitated person.

Accidents can happen at any time for many different reasons. Whether you are a young adult or an older individual, contacting a knowledgeable attorney who works in estate planning and has assisted others in naming powers of attorney can assist you in making your estate planning goals a reality. 

Understanding What Are Powers of Attorney

Simply put, a power of attorney is authorization for another individual to act with legal authority on your behalf. Powers of attorney may grant someone the ability to make medical decisions on another’s behalf, manage their financial affairs, or do other actions that the creator of the estate plan may see fit. When envisioning what would happen in a future emergency or incapacity, springing powers of attorneys may be used. This means that the power of attorney would not take effect until the time in which the estate planner is considered to be incapacitated. As a result, there is virtually no risk of accidentally granting someone control of your life at the present time. 

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