• Meeting with Your Probate Attorney

    The probate process in The Woodlands is complex. It’s best to hire a probate lawyer to handle these complicated matters for your family. Taking a few minutes to prepare will help you get the most out of your meeting with the probate lawyer . For example, consider your answers to the following questions discussed in this featured video.

    This legal professional suggests that your probate lawyer will ask you exactly which services you need him or her to perform. A probate attorney can prepare wills and living wills, revoke previous wills or trusts, and handle contested wills. You should also consider what your role in this matter is. For example, are you the executor or an heir? It’s also a good idea to prepare a list of questions you want to ask the attorney during your meeting.

  • Choosing an Executor for Your Will

    When you visit a will attorney near Houston, you’ll need to make many more decisions than just figuring out how to divide your property after your death. You’ll also need to designate an executor of your will. The executor of a will has many important responsibilities, including gathering assets, assessing debts and other claims, paying taxes, and distributing the estate. It is largely a thankless job that requires careful attention to detail, persistence, and patience, so be sure to select an executor who is up to the task.

    The Available Choices Will Executor

    Make a list of your available choices. Many people choose a close family member to be the executor of their will. Other possibilities include more distant relatives, friends, or professional executors. It is possible to choose more than one executor. These may be co-executors, who will share the responsibilities of the position. It’s a smart idea to choose one or more back-up executors in case the original executor is incapable of or chooses not to carry out these responsibilities.

    The Individual’s Credentials

    As you narrow down your list of possible executors, consider the credentials of each. It is helpful, though not required, for an executor of a will to have a legal background or a background in accounting. Failing this, it’s wise to choose someone who has earned a college degree, although this is not a mandatory requirement.

    The Individual’s Age and Health

    It’s necessary for your executor or back-up executor to outlive you. Consider the age and overall health of the individual you’re thinking of choosing. Of course, a generally healthy individual may later experience drastic medical setbacks that render him or her incapable of fulfilling the tasks of the role. When major life changes occur, you can revisit your executor designation and change it if need be. Changing your executor may also be necessary in the case of divorce or estrangement.

    The Individual’s Personal Preferences

    An executor of a will may face a long, tedious process. Many people simply don’t want the responsibility. When you’ve narrowed down your list to a few possibilities, approach these individuals and ask if they would be willing to be your executor, co-executor, or back-up executor.

  • What Probate Attorneys Do

    Your family may want to speak with a probate attorney in The Woodlands after the passing of a loved one . A probate lawyer handles the administrative process of settling the decedent’s affairs. It’s commonly thought that probate is a lengthy and arduous process, but in fact, probate lawyers commonly succeed int making the process relatively easy for the surviving family members.

    You can watch this video to hear a little more about what a probate attorney can do for your family. This legal professional explains that the probate lawyer may pay the decedent’s debts and taxes from his or her estate, take an inventory of the assets, and oversee the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. Probate attorneys can also handle disputes among heirs regarding inherited property.

  • Examining Wills in Texas [Infographic]

    If you’re like many people, chances are you don’t want to think about your own death. However, even if you are healthy now, accidents can happen and circumstances can change. That’s why it is a good idea to draft a living will in The Woodlands . A will is used after you pass away to distribute your property to family members, friends, organizations, or anyone else you so choose. If you do not have a will, Texas law dictates that your property will go to close relatives first. The property of a person without relatives through blood or marriage may be seized by the state. You can appoint an executor of a will, or a person who will make sure that it is carried out in the way you want. Take a look at this infographic to learn more about wills in Texas, including what you need to make a handwritten will legal. Please share with your friends and family.

    Examining Wills in Texas

  • How Is Child Support Determined?

    Under the Texas Constitution, all parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially. According to family law in Texas, “a parent” refers to the child’s biological mother and a man who either signed a paternity acknowledgment, was married to the mother, or who has been otherwise legally determined to be the child’s biological father. Adoptive parents are also responsible for financially supporting their adopted children. Texas family law requires parents to support a child until he or she turns 18 years old, with some exceptions. Whichever parent does not have primary custody of the child is generally known as the obligor; and it is he or she who is obligated to pay child support. Child support rules are multi-faceted and so a family law attorney in The Woodlands is best able to help you estimate the amount you could be ordered to pay or receive.

    Income Child Support

    The income of the obligor is the most significant factor when calculating child support. In Texas, parents are required to submit to the court information about their gross income. If they are self-employed, they must submit their average monthly self-employment income, which is gross income less business expenses.

    Deductions

    Inform your child support lawyers of any deductions that the court should consider when calculating the amount of your payment. This may include health insurance premiums that you pay for your children. You may also be allowed to deduct court-ordered alimony or child support that you are already paying for a previous marriage and other children. When in doubt, let your attorney know what costs or expenses should be deducted, nothing should be left “off the table.”

    Family Size

    The amount of the child support payment will be adjusted depending on how many children must be supported. If you are paying child support for two children, the amount of the original payment is not doubled. Instead, the payment is increased by a certain percentage of your income.

    Guideline Adjustments

    Texas family court judges use family code guidelines when calculating the amount of child support to order. However, there are circumstances in which a judge will consider adjusting the support amount. The amount may be increased or decreased depending on the child’s age and needs, educational expenses, extraordinary healthcare expenses, and any other factors that speak to the best interests of the child.