The Livens Law Firm

October 2013 Archives

Probate assets pass through one's estate by will or intestacy

The question sometimes comes up regarding the difference between non-probate and probate assets. Under Texas law and the law of all other jurisdictions, non-probate assets are those that do not pass through one's estate at death. They generally pass automatically to a beneficiary by what is called "operation of law." Probate assets, on the other hand, do not have a beneficiary designation and pass by your will or by the laws of intestacy if there is no will.

Complex family structures call for specialized estate plans

These days family structures in the United States are generally more complex than they were 60 years ago. Divorce is more common now among people over age 50, and families more often include stepchildren, foster children, domestic partnerships and all of the family dynamics that follow.

Long-term care planning requires careful coordination

One key to effectively planning for long-term care is to coordinate the available benefits from government programs with other estate planning tools. Unfortunately, though, coordinating in this way can be complicated, and many people wait too late to begin planning for their long-term care.

Estate planning needs of adult children

We forget that our college-aged children are now adults and may need in-depth financial advice. Parents are no longer legally able to make financial decisions on the behalf of their children. Therefore it's also important that children appoint someone who can be trusted to make financial and medical decisions for them in case of incapacity.

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