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The Legal Client Services Coordinator will consistently and accurately support an elder law/estate planning attorney as well as others to become more efficient, systematic and effective.  We’re an elder law/estate planning law firm with the vision of helping others to protect their families and resources. The role of this position is to support our small (but growing) law firm by providing office/clerical and personal support to the elder law/estate planning attorney. You will be responsible for maintaining the firm calendar, answering and routing calls, interacting with clients, sorting and distributing mail, copying, scanning, printing and filing, scheduling appointments and speaking…
It is very common for a family member to be named to serve as a trustee of a special needs trust of a loved one with special needs (usually to save money), but the recent felony charges for financial exploitation against a Minnesota mother who was serving as a trustee of a special needs trust created by the father for the benefit of their adult special needs child demonstrates the need for additional protection. After the death of the father, the mother (acting in her capacity as trustee) used the funds in the trust for her own benefit (instead of…
It is not unusual for parents and grandparents (as well as others) to want to help plan for payment of school and other expenses of a beneficiary who is a minor. A UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) account is a custodial account usually established by a parent or grandparent at a bank or other financial institution. The custodian of the account invests or withdraws funds for the benefit of the minor until the minor reaches the age of majority (21 in Texas). A 529 plan is normally an education savings plan as it should be used for the future…
It was recently reported in the Dallas Morning News that Tyler Pride (“Tyler”)”, who is the biological son of famed country-western singer Charley Pride (“Charley”), has contested the Last Will and Testament of his father. Tyler was not born of Charley’s long-time marriage to Rozene Pride (“Rozene”). Even though Texas law does not require a child (or anyone) to be named as a beneficiary of a Last Will and Testament, wills are often contested by alleging the equitable arguments of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. This is still applicable even if you have a “no contest” provision in…
The continuing 13-year-old conservatorship saga of Britney Spears to free her of having her father run her personal and professional life has put financial and civil rights abuse in guardianship and conservatorship (California conservatorship is similar to guardianship in Texas) in the national spotlight. After Spears testified that she was even forced to keep an IUD in her body (although conservators don’t really have that much power) to prevent her from having more children since it would interfere with her singing career, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and HHS secretary Xavier Becerra have stated in a letter that state agencies…
The FDA has recently approved the medication Aducanumab (which is to be given by infusion every four weeks) that studies have shown to slow the decline of cognitive and functional ability of patients (particularly if in the early stages after a diagnosis or those with mild dementia) with Alzheimer’s Disease. Although this is not a cure and researchers are uncertain as to what causes Alzheimer’s, the approval of this drug (developed by Biogen & Eisai) is a baby step in the ultimate goal of a world without Alzheimer’s. The drug approval is not without its critics, and the FDA conditioned…
There are various reasons why a parent would disinherit an adult child ranging from failure to communicate for a period of time to verbal disagreements. Under Texas law, there is no legal requirement to name a family member as a beneficiary. The following are suggestions to reduce risk of a successful challenge to your estate plan: Name the child you are disinheriting. This reduces the risk that you simply forgot to name the disinherited child. If you desire to also disinherit your child’s descendants, then this should be stated as well. Consider giving the beneficiary enough to have second thoughts…
Sole benefits trusts are an exception to the transfer penalty rules for long-term care (i.e., nursing home, some assisted living facilities, etc.) Medicaid. Since most Americans have inadequate or no long-term care insurance and Medicare generally has very limited coverage for skilled care, many seek long-term care Medicaid to help subsidize the expensive cost of care. The average cost of skilled care in Texas is around $6,500 per month, and the cost of some nicer facilities is around $10,000 per month. Long-term care Medicaid is “means-tested”. In other words, the government will not help subsidize the care costs if the…
A Pennsylvania appeals court has recently upheld a lower court ruling giving the agent the authority to act under a boilerplate power of attorney form even though the terms of the document were not followed. However, the cheap form and the failure of the agent to follow the terms of the power of attorney resulted in years of litigation, thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and court costs and family discord. In this case, the mother (“Mercedes”) of six children signed a power of attorney in 2013 that her son Joseph bought over the internet to save money. The power…
If a will written on the fender of a tractor or on the back of a photo or even a blank piece of paper with indentions could be considered valid by a court, could your handwriting on a wall be considered a valid will? It probably depends on where you live – and the laws may continue to evolve with technology. Some of the strangest situations where courts validated handwritten (also known as holographic) wills include the following: The Blank Sheet Will A California court admitted as a will a blank piece of paper of a blind person who did…