The Livens Law Firm

Estate Planning Archives

Stan Lee: Estate planning should include protection from abuse

Stan Lee, a respected writer and creator of several iconic comic book characters, was revered by many Texas residents and others around the nation and the world. He recently passed away at the age of 95, with reports stating that he left an estate of over $50 million. Unfortunately, it was suspected that his estate had been targeted by some individuals who allegedly wanted control of his finances. As with many senior citizens, Lee's faculties had become impaired over the years. While his estate planning presumably focused on how his assets would be distributed after his passing, little direction was likely given on how to handle his decision-making if he had become unable to do so.

Estate planning now helps avoid future confusion, conflict

Regardless of income level, most residents of Texas and other states around the country have an idea of how they would like their assets distributed after they are gone. While many have certain expectations, not everyone has formally expressed their desires by going through the estate planning process. Countless individuals have never developed a will, much less a comprehensive estate plan. Experts suggest that such plans help eliminate any confusion regarding how someone's wishes should be carried out.

Include charitable giving wishes in estate planning process

Many Texas residents and others around the country have various charitable organizations they are passionate about. They regularly contribute money or routinely donate their time to causes important to them. Certain people may have the desire to somehow continue to support these causes, even after they have passed away. They may choose to incorporate this philanthropic desire into their estate planning process so that their support may continue for many years.

A will is a good place to start when estate planning

Most Texas residents and others living around the country don't often think about the time when they will no longer be around. While such thoughts are not pleasant, some individuals do consider how their loved ones will be provided for or the manner in which their assets will be distributed. Estate planning can be a complex, but necessary, process. One of the most rudimentary documents in an estate plan is a will.

Estate planning particularly important to business owners

Small business owners in Texas and elsewhere around the country have a mountain of details to manage. Whether dealing with day-to-day operations or future goals, it is important to consider the long-term viability of the business. Most owners have likely not given much thought to how their companies should be run after they are gone. However, experts strongly suggest that business owners go through the estate planning process to avoid future complications.

Celebrity estate planning errors and how to avoid them

Many Texas residents follow the lives of celebrities online or in the tabloids. Their opulent lifestyles may seem exotic and glamorous. However, certain issues they face are the same as everyone else, albeit on a larger scale. Problems may arise in estate planning for anyone, regardless of the amount of assets. Experts have cited mistakes some celebrities have made in their estate plans, though the errors could occur with anyone.

Estate planning: Who can amend a trust?

Many Texas residents and others around the country are nearing retirement age or caring for older parents who have already reached that milestone. Effective estate planning can help give individuals peace of mind when considering their financial futures. However, even with an established estate plan in place, questions can still arise. Financial advisers recently discussed how changes to a trust should be made.

Important financial talks to have about estate planning

Family dynamics have changed with adult children reversing roles with their parents and having sit-down talks about finances. In a recent survey, parents in Texas over age 60 admit they have never discussed estate planning with family members. Adult children worry that conversations about money, wills and designating personal representatives could cause conflict or even sour relationships with their parents.

Separation versus divorce in estate planning

When a person dies estranged from his or her spouse but the couple is not legally divorced, it can lead to a host of issues with an estate. More couples are opting for long-term separation instead of divorce and, in some situations, a separation does not extinguish spousal rights and privileges. In Texas and elsewhere, problems can erupt in estate planning without a final divorce decree.

Power of attorney and end-of-life planning can be challenging

Experts say once a person turns 18 years old, he or she should have two legal documents. The first is a medical power of attorney, which appoints an individual who will make decisions regarding medical treatment in the event of incapacitation. The second is a financial power of attorney, who will specifically instruct how assets and property are to be distributed after death. Many people in Texas and elsewhere find it difficult to have conversations about death and dying with family members.

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