508 N Ridgeway Dr.,
Cleburne, TX 76033

Call Us Today for an Initial Consultation

817-645-1717

Recent blog posts

What is a special needs trust?

Posted on in Uncategorized

There are some valuable estate planning tools available to individuals who have disabled family members, friends or other loved ones. One of these, a special needs trust, goes hand-in-hand with means-tested government programs, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.

To be eligible for many types of public financial assistance, individuals must have limited income and assets. This is a problem in the estate planning context. After all, if you give cash or other assets directly to your loved one, you may inadvertently disqualify him or her from receiving government help.

Paying for supplemental expenses

To ensure your disabled loved one remains eligible for government assistance, the special needs trust you establish may not pay for his or her ordinary living expenses. Therefore, the beneficiary should use public assistance to pay for rent, food, utilities, medical bills and other necessary expenditures.

...

If you make no Last Will and Testament prior to your death, the state’s intestacy laws determine who inherits your estate and in what proportion. However, if you draft an enforceable will with the help of an estate planning attorney, you can determine exactly how you want your estate distributed, rather than leaving it up to the probate court. Otherwise, the following situations may apply if you have a surviving spouse:

Surviving spouse intestate situations

Texas intestacy law provides for the following five surviving spouse scenarios and their respective distributions:

  1. Surviving spouse, but no surviving parents, siblings or children: Your spouse inherits your entire probate estate.
  2. Surviving spouse and surviving children born to or adopted by you and (s)he: Your spouse inherits your share of the community property, plus one-third of your separate personal property. Your children inherit the rest of your probate estate. Your spouse also gets all your separate real property, but only during his or her lifetime. On his or her death, that property passes to your children.
  3. Surviving spouse and surviving children by someone else: Your spouse inherits your share of the community property, plus one-third of your separate personal property. Your children inherit the other two-thirds of your probate estate. Again, your spouse gets all your separate real property, but only during his or her lifetime. On his or her death, that property passes to your children.
  4. Surviving spouse and surviving parents, but no surviving children: Your spouse inherits your share of the community property, plus all of your separate personal property. (S)he also inherits half of your separate real property and your parents inherit the other half.
  5. Surviving spouse and surviving siblings, but no surviving children or parents: Your spouse inherits your share of the community property, plus all of your separate personal property. (S)he also inherits half of your separate real property and your siblings inherit the other half.

Texas intestacy law makes additional provisions for inheritances when you leave no surviving spouse.

There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you finally create a comprehensive estate plan. Even though it forced you to think about the future, you’re now in better position to protect both you and your loved ones (as well as your assets).

However, there’s a big mistake lurking: neglecting to review your estate plan as time goes by.

It may not be something you enjoy, but there are times when you have to review and modify your estate plan. Consider the following:

...

If you are fortunate enough to enjoy a supportive, loving and friendly family dynamic, you may consider starting a business together. Perhaps you and your spouse have the type of relationship where you work well together and complement each other when it comes to strengths and weaknesses, which would certainly contribute to your success.

You may also want to pass on the business to your children when you retire and want to protect it for that purpose. Another of your goals may be to protect your assets from creditors and/or have the ability to bypass probate after your death.

Would you consider forming a family limited liability company?

...

Every business is different, and what you will need to do to ensure your Texas company's success depends on what you hope to accomplish, the type of business you plan to start and multiple other factors. The choices you make during the business formation process will impact your company for years to come. It's smart to know how you can make decisions that will lay the foundation for your future success.

There is a lot to think about and consider during the business formation stage, but you do not have to walk through it alone. There is significant benefit in having experienced guidance from the earliest stages of your business, lowering the chance of costly missteps or regrettable decisions. There is a lot at stake during this stage, but you can take steps now that will greatly benefit you in the future.

Your success starts now

...
Back to Top