Estate Planning for Divorcing Couples: What Happens if One Spouse Dies While Divorce is Pending?

June 3, 2015

A married man died recently. He had a Will which had been prepared shortly after he and his second wife got married. When their Wills were prepared, the man and his wife were in love and trusted each other implicitly. They planned to leave everything they owned to each other when one died, and to […]

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Who Inherits If The Beneficiary Of My Will Dies Before Me?

May 22, 2015

Although it’s unpleasant to consider, there is a possibility that those whom you’d like to benefit in your Will may not survive you. For example, you may wish to give all your worldly possessions to your spouse, but he or she may die before you. Or you may wish to pass your estate to your […]

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Is Gift to Stepchildren Void if
Testator is Divorced After Signing a Will?

May 1, 2015

I received a note yesterday from someone whose mother had recently passed away. His mother’s Will, which was made before she divorced, identified her stepchildren as beneficiaries. The note’s author asked: “Do the stepchildren have any claim to my mother’s estate?” The Texas Estate Code specifically addresses this issue. Section 123.001(b) provides that if a […]

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Can I Rewrite a Deceased Person’s Will?

April 10, 2015

I received a message from someone this week whose husband had passed away seven years earlier leaving a Will that gave all his worldly possessions her. However, she never had the Will probated. I’m not sure what circumstances caused her to ask this question, but she wondered whether it was possible for her to now […]

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Wacky Wednesday: Wills That Make You Go “Hmmm…”- Harry Houdini

April 1, 2015

NB: This post is part of a series highlighting wills that contain some interesting, and sometimes bizarre, bequests and stipulations. You can see all these posts here. Have you ever gotten a psychic reading? According to a 2005 Gallup Poll,26 percent of the people polled believed in clairvoyance, and 31 percent believed in telepathy or […]

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Is A Will Signed By One Witness Valid If It Is Also Signed by a Notary?

February 11, 2015

I have written before about the requirements of a valid will in Texas. To be valid, a Will must be signed by the testator, or another person at the testator’s direction and in his presence, and attested in the presence of the testator by at least two credible witnesses. I received a note this week from a […]

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