This column first appeared in the San Antonio Express-News and other Hearst Newspapers on May 6, 2019. Dear Mr. Premack: My parents had three children, and eventually they divorced. When in his 70’s my father remarried. She had two daughters from her first marriage. She and dad had a lawyer draw up Wills at the…
To a certain extent, everyone does some of their own estate planning without consulting their attorney. Once you understand the context and effect of a decision, you don’t always need to ask your lawyer’s opinion. That said, there are some planning concepts that are very technical and, if done incorrectly, can cause heartache, increase expenses, block progress, or increase taxes (among a few of the possible negatives).
if the assistance you provide strains your own finances so you don’t have funds to provide for yourself, then you must cease. Further, if your friends and their families have been pressuring you into these gifts, they may be illegally exploiting your generosity. Gifts must come from your desire to help, not from their requests for assistance.
n Texas, under the Texas Family Code, if the debt is unsecured (like a credit card or a student loan) then she should be more concerned. She is liable for his acts only if 1) she was acting as agent for him, or 2) the debt was for necessaries like food and clothing. Her separate property is not liable for his debts unless she also signed the debt contract.
The Texas Tax Code generally allows qualified homeowners to a) defer their taxes (but during deferral they are classified as delinquent, and the taxes must eventually be paid with interest), or to b) pay the tax bill in four equal quarterly installments. The Code also says that taxes become delinquent if not paid by the initial due date (usually February 1 each year).
Under Texas law, this does not qualify as a holographic (handwritten) will because it is not his handwriting. Also, under Texas law, a non-holographic will must have two witnesses. It has at least on
International estate planning has a long, complex history. For instance, in 1973 the United Nations adopted the “Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will”