The legal world can be daunting. The more you learn the less you feel you know. Here at Regan Law Firm we're here to help navigate you through the legal maze. We'll work to answer your questions and put your mind at ease.
A Will allows you to direct exactly who receives your assets after you have passed. A Will gives security and peace of mind to your spouse or children, secure in the knowledge that they will be taken care of and the property will remain in the family or go to your specific beneficiaries. Without a Will, your assets go according to the laws of Texas. As discussed above, by simply having a Will you will save your Estate close to a thousand dollars just in fees and publications costs alone.
Even though your loved one may have died with a Will, it is not always necessary to actually probate the Will. The decision to probate depends on a number of factors, including what property is being left behind by the deceased and who the beneficiaries are. Generally, real estate property left behind has to pass through Probate (or a Trust); however, if there are only personal items left by the deceased, it is often possible to avoid probate or take a less expensive route.
The cost of Probate depends on three main factors: if a Will exists; the assets; and the beneficiaries. If a Will does not exist then the Estate is required by law to have an Attorney Ad Litem appointed by the Court, typically costing the estate several hundred dollars; it is also required to post additional notices in county newspapers, costing the Estate a few hundred dollars more. By having a Will, the Estate is not automatically required to have an Attorney Ad Litem appointed nor required to publish the additional notices.The cost to Probate an Estate is also determined by what assets are in the Estate. Real property and mineral rights often take more time to manage and transfer versus a simple life insurance policy with a named beneficiary or a bank account.The beneficiaries are the third main factor in the cost of Probate. If the beneficiaries are all in agreement, the Probate process will go much more smoothly and with less cost.
A Trust is a great tool, but it is not for everyone. Those who benefit the most from having a Trust are: a family with only one breadwinner; a couple with more than one piece of real property; a couple with children under the age of eighteen; a couple with a special needs child; and a couple wanting to avoid Probate or a Will contest entirely.
Although debt collectors are not always forthcoming about this, the beneficiaries are not actually liable for debts of the deceased. The debts must be paid the estate before the beneficiaries receive any inheritance, but the individual beneficiaries are not liable for the debts of the estate.
Two of the biggest mistakes made by small business owners as members of an LLC are that they commingle their personal account with the LLC business bank accounts and that they sign contracts in their personal names, not in the name of the LLC.Keeping the owner’s personal bank account separate from the business account owned by the LLC is extremely important, and a failure to keep them separate may result in the LLC protections being disregarded by the courts.When signing a contract for the business, it is important to sign your name as a member of the LLC. For example: John Smith, as Member of the Smithworks, LLC.