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estate administration & probate Archives

The dangers of failing to update an estate plan

Texas residents should not assume that once they have created an estate plan, they do not have to think about it any longer. It can be tempting to procrastinate on creating it in the first place, and people may think they are too young to worry about revising it. However, an illness or accident can strike at any age. This was the case for director John Singleton, who died unexpectedly in April at the age of 51 and whose will had not been updated since he prepared it in 1993.

Distributing Jeffrey Epstein's large estate

Texas residents might be familiar with Jefferey Epstein after his alleged connections to sex trafficking made national news. The financier's suicide Aug. 10 is not the end of the story. The 66-year-old's estate may be worth more than $577 million, and many people are interested in what the next steps are when it comes to distributing his estate.

Estate of Carrie Fisher worth $6.8 million

Star Wars fans in Texas might be interested in learning about the estate of Carrie Fisher, the late actress who played Princess Leia in the series. Fisher, who died at age 60 in December 2016, left some relatively specific estate planning instructions. According to news reports, she asked in her will that her estate should be placed in the Carrie Fisher Living Trust, which has her 26-year-old daughter named as its beneficiary.

Filmmaker's untimely death causes legal battles

When a Texas resident creates a will, its terms determine how some or all of a person's assets are distributed upon his or her death. Although John Singleton had a will, it was created in 1993 and was not updated once it was executed. At that time, only one of Singleton's six children was alive and included in the will. Therefore, his other siblings could potentially be denied a share of their father's assets.

Advice for executors of wills

Being appointed the executor of a will brings many responsibilities. Texas residents who are appointed as executors often need to secure the will holder's home and other assets, notify beneficiaries, probate the will and file estate and income tax returns. Attorneys and financial advisors can help executors of wills with many of these tasks.

Why and how to identify interested parties for a will contest

In some cases, after a person's death in Texas, the will can be challenged. The person who files that challenge is also responsible for making sure that all "interested parties" are notified. This is because all interested parties must have the opportunity to participate in litigation if they choose to do so.

How to choose an executor for a will

Texas residents who are creating a will also need to choose an executor. The executor is the person who deals with paying bills, finding and distributing assets and other tasks associated with managing the estate. Therefore, it is important to choose the right person for this role.

Approaching probate correctly is more important than avoiding it

For a lot of estate planners in Texas, one of the primary goals is to avoid probate as much as possible, or for as many assets as possible. According to some experts, however, it's more important to approach probate correctly than to avoid it altogether. In cases where a person dies intestate, or without a will, an administrator is appointed by the probate court to manage the distribution of assets.

What to expect when becoming an estate executor

Those in Texas who are named estate executors or administrators might wonder what their duties are. An executor is responsible for paying taxes and debts, identifying assets and distributing those assets to beneficiaries. There may be other duties as well. The tasks can be daunting, but an executor is permitted to work with an attorney or other professionals if necessary.

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