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Common concerns for estate planning

Creating an estate plan is an important facet of life, but many people fail to make one. Some people may mistakenly believe that if they are not rich or only have one child that it is unnecessary, but estate planning is important for people and families of all varieties. Experts say they want to clear up common misconceptions around estate plans, and the information they have to offer may be invaluable for Texas families.

People with children are generally concerned with what would happen to their kids in the event that they pass away. An estate plan can designate a guardian for minor children as well as a conservator to handle any finances. Those could be the same person or two different people. As for adult children, some parents worry that there will be disagreements on how assets should be divided. An estate plan can help a person keep matters private rather than going through probate, which can take time, money and be public.

Understanding your rights as a tenant

When renting an apartment or home from a landlord, you will be subject to the terms of the contract that you both signed. However, even before this contract is signed, you have certain basic rights that cannot be refuted. If you are having difficulties navigating an issue regarding your tenancy or if a dispute has arisen, it is important that you take the time to understand the law in Texas.

The following are some of your basic rights as a tenant or a prospective tenant. These rights cannot be negotiated away by your landlord in a contract. If your landlord has violated your rights before or during your tenancy, you may be able to take legal action to address this.

Community adoption match party helps foster kids in need a family

There are many ways to have a family. One of the most selfless ways to do that is through the miracle of adoption. However, kids who have been in the foster care system for awhile can have more difficulty finding their forever family. One community here in Texas decided to help those kids by hosting a match party to connect foster children with families looking to open their hearts and homes through adoption.

The event was held at a local church and provided sports activities and food for the attendees. Kids who were ready to be adopted met families who had already received state or adoption agency credentials for adoption. One man who already has one adopted child attended with the hope of adding to his family again the same way. He says the benefits are worth the hard work it takes to be a parent.

Divorce is the time to review estate plan beneficiaries

There are so many things to consider in a divorce agreement that it can be easy to overlook certain parts. One factor that many experts say people tend to forget about is changing the beneficiaries on a person's various accounts. It is important that a divorced person ensures that his or her assets are left to the person of his or her choosing. The state of Texas makes some of this process a bit more simple for certain financial accounts, but there are others that a person experiencing a divorce will want to know about.

First, in Texas, a divorce automatically designates the contingency beneficiary as the valid one for certain accounts. That means if a person listed his or her spouse as the beneficiary for his or her IRA or life insurance, a divorce will void that arrangement and designate the next person listed as beneficiary. Those who haven't listed a contingent beneficiary will have assets transferred to the person's estate.

Woman in real estate dispute, alleges her landlord is negligent

When someone rents a property, it is assumed that the landlord will keep up with needed repairs. Unfortunately, some landlords fail to ensure that their properties are safe and well-maintained, which can lead to injuries for tenants who live there. They may end up in a real estate dispute with a negligent landlord. One Texas woman claims that this is exactly the case with her landlord after she suffered injuries when she fell through the floor of her home.

The woman claims that the incident happened as she was walking across the floor of the trailer she was renting. She was headed to the back of the mobile home to check on one of her cats when she says she crashed through the floor. She claims she twisted her ankle and suffered bruises all the way up her thigh from the fall. The injuries caused her pain for several days afterwards.

Common misconceptions in estate planning

When people think of a will, they may get uncomfortable. This is understandable, as it is not pleasant to consider the end of one's life. However, it is a very important subject for Texas families to consider. There are several incorrect beliefs that people often have in regard to estate planning, but experts say that it is vital that people understand exactly how important having one in place can be for a person and his or her loved ones.

Many people believe that if they are not wealthy, they do not need to have a will. Experts point out that it is likely that most people have some assets, such as a home or small bank account. It is important to ensure that those assets are bequeathed to someone of that person's choosing. A will can even dictate who would care for the person's children, or how that person would like his or her remains to be managed after death.

Minimizing the impact that divorce has on your child

As a divorcing parent, you may be concerned about the effect that your divorce will have on your child. Unfortunately, some children suffer significantly as a result of their parents' divorce. They may have unaddressed fears about the split, and they may internalize certain negative emotions by blaming themselves. This, in turn, can have implications on their grades at school and future prospects.

It is important to understand the psychology of children when dealing with such issues. Children do not think in the same way that adults do. However, this does not mean that they are unaware of conflicts and marital issues. By taking simple steps to communicate with your child and by seeking to truly understand them, you will be able to work through this challenging time by their side.

Insurer sued for denying cancer patient's insurance claim

Insurance is designed to help people out during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Unfortunately, some insurers fail to pay out legitimate claims to policy holders in the interest of saving the company money. It can be difficult to hold insurers in Texas accountable, but doing so is important for all of the people that the insurance company is supposed to cover. One out-of-state attorney is doing just that after his insurance claim for cancer treatment was denied by his insurer.

The attorney, who is a survivor of prostate cancer, attempted to file a claim for treatment back in 2017. Doctors recommended a proton beam radiation therapy because it would be more effective and not as invasive as other options. His insurer, UnitedHealthcare, denied his claim to cover the treatment, saying that the treatment was experimental. The man countered that the treatment was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration back in the 1980s.

Common mistakes executors make during probate

Being an executor can be a great honor, but it is also a major responsibility. Many people here in Texas recognize the importance of the role, but are nervous about what is expected. Experts have advice for those who are appointed to this position, and warn of some common mistakes that can occur during the probate process.

One of the main components of being the executor of a will is dealing with beneficiaries. Some people make the mistake of not maintaining communication with beneficiaries, or even favoring one over all of the others, which can have disastrous consequences. Beneficiaries may decide to petition the court to remove the executor. Some executors might think that distributing or selling assets on their own will avoid this kind of problem, but that can also be cause for removal. Other people, for varied reasons, make the mistake of doing nothing at all, which does not honor the wishes of the deceased and can complicate the entire matter.

How does a commercial lease differ from its residential counterpart?

The realm of real estate transactions and disputes is broad and complex in Texas, and often involves huge amounts of money in given matters. We duly note that point on our website at the established law firm of Perry & Shields, LLP. Our practiced real estate attorneys serve diverse and valued clients from multiple offices spanning the state.

As we stress on our firm’s real estate practice page, matters surrounding leases are typically of vital importance to both property owners/lessors and lessees. Commercial leases especially -- as opposed to their residential counterparts -- can breed complexities and variances that invite close input from experienced legal counsel. Many business principals reasonably seek help from a proven real estate legal team when they are negotiating the terms of a commercial lease and contemplating execution of that important contract.

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