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Category Archive: Estate Planning

  • The Development of Electronic Wills

    Posted on July 12, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Historically, wills must follow certain testamentary formalities. These formalities include a physical document,  the testator’s signature, and signatures from at least two witnesses. See Tex. Estates Code § 251.051. These formalities were first alluded to in the Statute of Frauds in 1676 and English Wills Act of 1837 to ensure the existe...

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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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  • Problems you see using online services for estate planning, wills, and directives.

    Posted on February 8, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Online legal services are continuing to grow in popularity as they offer inexpensive and easy ways for people to execute legal documents such as wills. Especially for individuals with simple and modest estates, these online-only services may seem particularly appealing. However, online-only services create many risks that may lead to expensive an...

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  • What will happen to my down payment on the house?

    Posted on January 18, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    For many couples, the marital residence is often their most significant asset. Consequently, questions concerning the future of the house are routinely front of mind for our clients. While courts may choose from a number of options when disposing of the marital residence, if it is possible courts typically prefer to have one spouse keep the house...

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  • What is a Mirror Will & How Can It Be Problematic?

    Posted on January 11, 2021 by Chris Kirker

    Many couples think about using mirror wills to provide for each other and their children in the event of their death. Mirror wills can be effective and cost-efficient in some cases. However, a mirror will does not work for many couples, and they come with certain risks that couples may want to avoid.  Mirror wills are virtually identical will...

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  • Estate Planning’s Impacts: In the Media

    Posted on August 24, 2020 by Chris Kirker

    Estate planning is a critical way for individuals to protect their hard-earned assets as well as provide for their loved ones. An essential element to any estate plan is a will. A will is an instrument through which an individual can plan for how their assets are distributed upon their death. If you die without a will, it is called dying “intest...

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  • An Introduction to Premarital Agreements

    Posted on September 2, 2019 by Chris Kirker

    Premarital agreements, also called prenuptial agreements, are a great tool in protecting the interests of you and your soon-to-be spouse. Premarital agreements can be the source of contention for many couples. A few commonly asked questions and topics to consider are outlined below: 1. What can premarital agreement cover? Parties who enter into a ...

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  • Estate Planning During Divorce: Myth vs. Reality

    Posted on August 26, 2019 by Chris Kirker

    MYTH: I am going through a divorce; therefore, I can neither create nor amend my new or existing will. REALITY: Texas Estates Code §253.001 expressly states that a court may not prohibit you from creating a new will or updating your existing will under any circumstances, including a divorce proceeding. Do not fall prey to the assumption that sin...

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  • How to choose the right Attorney?

    Posted on June 21, 2017 by Chris Kirker

    There are thousands of lawyers in the State of Texas alone. When you have a divorce or custody matter, how do you choose the right divorce lawyer? Here are some things that you should look for when you choose an attorney: Their primary practice area should be in family law. A divorce and/or custody matter affects you and your loved ones for ...

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