The United States of America celebrates its independence on July 4th, but you can rest assured that you too can declare independence for your family — from court interference. Life can be unpredictable. Whether it is a financial issue, the birth or adoption of a child, sickness or incapacity, it is important to be prepared […]
A Beloved Author’s Legacy – A Tidy Estate from Austin Estate Planning Lawyer Liz Nielsen
Michael Bond, who passed away back in June of 2017, was an author and the creator of the adventurous, sweet and captivating character, Paddington Bear. Bond created the marmalade-loving bear from the “darkest Peru” in the late 1950’s out of his memories of refugee children in the Second World War. He wondered what would happen if […]
Post-Divorce Planning to Protect Your Children’s Inheritance from Austin Estate Planning Lawyer Liz Nielsen
Consider this story. Beth’s divorce from her husband was recently finalized. Her most valuable assets are her retirement plan at work and her life insurance policy. She updated the beneficiary designations on both to be her two minor children. She did not want her ex-husband to receive the money.
Beth passes away one year after her divorce. Her children are still minors, so the retirement plan and insurance company require an adult to be appointed by a court to receive the inheritance Beth left behind. Who does the court presumptively look to serve as the caretaker of this money? Beth’s ex-husband who is now the only living parent of the children. (In some states, this caretaker of the money is called a guardian, whereas in others it is the conservator. The title does not matter as much as the role, which is to manage the funds on behalf of a minor, since the minor is not legally able to handle significant assets or money.)
What do Successor Trustees and Executors Do? from Austin Estate Planning Lawyer Liz Nielsen
Executor’s Duties An executor, sometimes called a personal representative, is the person who is named in a will, appointed by the court, and responsible for probating the will and settling the estate. Depending on the state, an executor may work under court supervision or, as is often seen in Texas, may use so-called “independent” administration […]