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Netflix’s Dirty Money Dives Into the Tragic World of Guardianship Scams

Mar 16, 2021

Via “Esquire” Magazine Netflix investigative docuseries Dirty Money, which examines financial misdeeds, is back for a second season. And one of the show’s most shocking new episodes, “Guardians, Inc.,” tackles abuses in the world of elder guardianship, a system that controls the lives of an estimated 1.5 million adults with estates worth more than $250 billion—and that…

Surviving Spouse Protections (even if disinherited!)

Mar 4, 2021

Do you think that if you are married that your spouse automatically is entitled to all of your assets?  Do you think that if you disinherit your spouse or perhaps your children in your Will that they automatically will not be entitled to any rights to your assets?  If you thought the answer is “yes” to…

Larry King’s Will – Nothing to Estranged Wife!

Feb 26, 2021

The handwritten Last Will and Testament of famed broadcaster, Larry King, omits his estranged wife, Shawn King (“Shawn”), and she is contesting. Larry King filed for divorce from Shawn (his seventh wife) in August 2019, and his new Will was handwritten on October 17, 2019. The Will named his 5 children (2 of whom subsequently…

Ways to Avoid Guardianships

Feb 19, 2021

Guardianship if often an expensive legal process which should be avoided if possible.  Thus, planning should be considered as an alternative to guardianship.  Guardianship is often needed for an incapacitated person.  Texas law defines an “incapacitated person” as: a minor an adult, who because of a physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to (a) provide food, clothing…

Most Common Texas Probate FAQ’s

Feb 15, 2021

We get asked questions every day about probate: what it is, how to probate a will, etc. Here are some of the most common Texas Probate questions we receive. What is Probate?             Answer: Probate is the process where a court confirms death and determines who has the authority to collect assets of the estate of…

Estate Planning After Divorce

Feb 10, 2021

Divorces are often draining – financially and emotionally.  As a result, many do not want to incur more costs or even think about different financial arrangements.  However, anytime there is a significant change in your family (death, divorce, disability, births, etc.), your estate plan should be at least reviewed. Although our list could be much longer, here…

Seven Ways to Avoid Family Fights Over Your Personal Property

Feb 5, 2021

It is not unusual for family members to fight over personal property items of value (sentimental or financial – such as jewelry, guns, art, tools, furniture, silverware and china, etc.).  After famous comedian Robin Williams died, his Will left his homestead to his wife, but there was a lack of clarity as to who was to…

Top 7 Misconceptions about Long-term Care & Medicaid

Jan 27, 2021

There are 109 Medicaid programs (at last count) in Texas – each with their own rules. This article concerns the errors or misconceptions common in one of those programs – long-term care Medicaid (where the government helps pay for care in a nursing home). Seven errors or misconceptions in connection with long-term care Medicaid are…

Ladybird Deed or Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed?

Jan 21, 2021

In a battle of the two most common probate avoidance deeds, it is often (but now always) better in Texas to use a Ladybird Deed (which is an enhanced life estate deed) than a Transfer on Death Deed.  In both types of deeds, the owner of the property retains control during life and the property…

What is a Miller or Qualified Income (QIT) Trust?

Jan 15, 2021

Although “Miller” or “Qualified Income” Trusts have been around for over twenty years (this author has been doing them since first approved in Texas in 1994), it is often surprising how confusing this income trust is to many – including some banks. Several Medicaid programs (i.e., long-term care and home/community-based waiver service programs) have an…