Do NOT Rely on Co-Ownership of Property to Avoid Probate

Posted by Harvey L. CoxJul 07, 20210 Comments

In Texas, co-owners of property can have a right of survivorship to the property they co-own.  Co-ownership with the right of survivorship means that when one co-owner dies, the surviving co-owner becomes the sole owner of the property without the necessity of opening a probate estate.  But, using this method of estate planning can cause unexpected tax and legal problems.

Don't Make the Mistake of Thinking All Estate Plans are the Same

Posted by Harvey L. CoxJun 23, 20210 Comments

have seen a lot of poorly drafted estate plans.  Inexperienced attorneys wrote some of those plans.   Financial planners and CPAs even wrote some of them.  With the proliferation of wrong information on the internet, I have seen more than a few poorly written do-it-yourself estate plans from forms found on the web.  It isn't a good idea to find forms on the internet and then complete them by just typing your name in blank spaces.  And, just because you pay for a form on the web doesn't mean you're getting something that fits your needs. 

Naming Children as Beneficiaries of Life Insurance

Posted by Harvey L. CoxJun 15, 20210 Comments

Many parents with minor children have not acquired substantial assets, so they use life insurance to provide financial security for the children in case one or both parents die.  If you name your minor children as beneficiaries and they are minors when you die, the insurance company cannot legally pay the life insurance proceeds directly to them.  In this scenario, it will be necessary to ask a court to appoint an adult to manage the money for the children until they reach adulthood.  You can avoid this situation by establishing a trust for the children and naming the trust as the beneficiary of your life insurance.

The Advantages of a Trust

Posted by Harvey L. CoxJun 10, 20210 Comments

In another post, I talked about why a Will is not the best tool to address your concerns for quickly transferring your assets, keeping your estate private, or properly leaving money to minors. A Trust, however, does address these concerns. Here's how: Asset Management If you have heirs...

The Problem with Wills

Posted by Harvey L. CoxJun 08, 20210 Comments

A Will is supposed to allow you to leave your property efficiently to your loved ones, but it rarely does that.  Leaving property through a Will is like pouring a pitcher of water into cupped hands to take a drink.  Most of the water spills onto the floor and disappears before you can use it properly.