Governor Abbott Temporarily Suspends Certain Statutes To Allow For Appearance Before Notary Public Via Videoconference | Office of the Texas Governor | Greg Abbott

Governor Greg Abbott today suspended certain statutes concerning appearance before a notary public to execute a self-proved will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a directive to physician, or an oath of an executor, administrator, or guardian. These suspensions temporarily allow for appearance before a notary public via videoconference when executing such documents, avoiding the need for in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The State of Texas is taking any action necessary to enforce social distancing … Continued

Coronavirus Crisis Brings Estate Tax Opportunity

  The coronavirus is causing major economic impacts as can be seen with the declining stock market. This adverse impact and the uncertain prospects for the future are a source of concern and worry for us all. However, this set of unfortunate circumstances has created a unique opportunity for the very wealthy to minimize or avoid estate taxes. There are three factors that play roles in this opportunity:   The current reduction in investment account values people are seeing in … Continued

Senate Committee Considering Pro Se Probate Forms | Texas Lawyer

AND SO IT CONTINUES, THE COMMODITIZATION OF THE PRACTICE OF LAW. Several years ago, the family law bar strongly opposed the Texas Supreme Court’s creation of forms for people to represent themselves in divorces. What might wills, trusts and probate attorneys think of a similar effort in their area? The answer might come on March 9, when the Senate State Affairs Committee hears testimony on Senate Bill 512 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Zaffirini’s bill would call on the Supreme … Continued

Wills and probate news: Alexander McQueen leaves money to dogs, animal charities

Hey, it’s yours, who better than your pets…. Those who are interested in wills and probate matters have been told who the late designer Alexander McQueen decided would benefit when he made a will. McQueen gave two animal charities £100,000 each and also gave his pet dogs £50,000. Both the Blue Cross and the Battersea Dogs and Cats home benefitted from McQueen’s £16 million estate. In addition, the designer, who committed suicide in 2010, gave each of his two brothers … Continued

How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Estate

  An executor administers an estate and remains in charge until it is legally closed. Before that happens, the will must be admitted to probate — the system through which a court determines if it is a legally valid document. After that, creditors and taxes, if any, must be paid and then the named beneficiaries are entitled to their share of what is left. If there is an estate tax audit or a will contest, the executor must oversee that … Continued