Author Archive: Chris Kirker

  • Does Verbal or emotional Abuse Matter in My Divorce?

    Posted on May 3, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Divorces can be caused by many things, including verbal or emotional abuse. If verbal or emotional abuse is present in a marriage, the spouses may wonder how it will affect their divorce. While verbal or emotional abuse will not change whether or not a court grants a divorce, it can lead to divorce terms that benefit the verbally abused spouse. ...

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  • How Do I Protect My Assets In A Divorce?

    Posted on April 26, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Many people considering a divorce worry about their financial future after splitting from their partner. They may have a valuable business that they don’t want to split up, or a sentimental piece of family property that they want to protect. Without proper planning, these assets might be divided in a divorce, or even given entirely to the other...

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  • Will Divorce Affect My Oil and Gas Lease?

    Posted on April 5, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Since the gusher at Spindletop, Texans have used their grit and ingenuity to produce value from the depths of their lands. As a result of the recent shale boom in the Permian Basin, many Central Texas residents became first-time purchasers of mineral interests, and some were even lucky enough discover they had mineral rights that traced back to d...

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  • What is the difference between a probate and a non-probate asset?

    Posted on March 29, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Understanding the difference between probate and non-probate assets is important to ensure a person’s estate is administered as they desire. Probate assets are distributed according to the owner’s will, or by state intestacy laws if the owner does not have a will. Non-probate assets are distributed as specified in a written instrument unique ...

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  • What is the HIPAA Release Used For?

    Posted on March 22, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    When someone is undergoing medical treatment, it is often important and helpful for them to keep certain trusted individuals up-to-date on their status. A parent, spouse, child, or friend of a patient may need to interact with doctors on a patient’s behalf and to make sure the patient is receiving the care they need. However, under federal law,...

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  • Does being pregnant affect my Directive to Physicians

    Posted on March 15, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    A Directive to Physicians is a type of Advance Directive that allows an individual to tell her doctors what kind of medical care they should provide if she is injured and unable to communicate. Because physicians will generally provide life sustaining care (life-support) as a default, a Directive will usually instruct physicians to withhold life-...

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  • Can Deepfakes Be Used Against Me in Court?

    Posted on March 8, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    The rise of artificial audio/visual media, or “deepfakes,” has been a cause for concern among national security circles for several years now. Deepfake technology has reached a level of sophistication that can dupe even the most discriminating viewer. And as the technology that makes deepfakes possible trickles down into the consumer level, m...

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  • Will my Advance Directive impact my life insurance policy?

    Posted on March 1, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Advance directives and life insurance policies are both popular tools that can help people plan for their futures. Advance directives can give individuals more control over the medical care that they receive later in life, and life insurance policies can help them leave something behind to help their loved ones after they’re gone. When consider...

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  • What is “Commingled” Property?

    Posted on February 22, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Texas is one of the few states that recognize two distinct forms of property held by spouses. The first of these characterizations of property is referred to as separate property, which is all property owned by the spouses before the marriage or acquired by the spouses during the marriage by gift, devise, or descent. Common examples of separate p...

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  • What if I Die Without A Will?

    Posted on February 15, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Executing a will allows people to control how their property will be passed along after they die. Because wills cost time and money to make, individuals often wonder what would happen if they died without one.  If somebody does die without a will, they have no control over how their property passes to other people. Instead, their property is...

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