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Flower Mound Estate Planning LawyerWe live in a litigious society, and for certain individuals, the threat of a lawsuit is ever-present. For example, doctors and other medical professionals are at significant risk of being sued at some point in their careers. Research conducted by the American Medical Association found that one in three physicians has had a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against them.

Business owners, real estate developers, and individuals in high-profile careers may also worry about the risk of being sued at some point. If this is a concern for you, one option you may want to consider is an irrevocable trust.

Irrevocable Trust Benefits

There are many different types of trusts that serve a variety of purposes. As the name implies, irrevocable trusts cannot be easily terminated or modified once they are established. When property is placed in an irrevocable trust, it becomes the property of the trust. The person who created the trust, the grantor, no longer owns the property. This means that if a grantor is sued, the assets in the trust cannot be touched – they are safe from creditors and plaintiffs. Furthermore, because the assets are removed from the grantor's estate, an irrevocable trust relieves the grantor of the tax liability generated by the assets.


Flower Mound Elder Law AttorneyMedicare is a crucial healthcare benefit for many older adults, but unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to get Medicare to pay for your medical treatment or services. If you have received a denial from Medicare on a claim you submitted, there are some steps you can take to try and appeal the decision.

If you feel that you have been unfairly denied a claim, your first step should be to consult an elder law attorney. Your attorney will help you understand the details of the denial and advise you on how to proceed with an appeal.

Responding to a Medicare Denial

Dealing with health concerns is difficult enough. When Medicare denies you coverage of a medical service, supply, or medication, it can exacerbate the stress immensely.


Denton County Estate Planning LawyerLife is anything but predictable - which is why estate planning is important for individuals of any age. A power of attorney (POA) document allows you to designate a trusted individual to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

When selecting an individual to serve as your power of attorney, it is essential to choose someone you can trust with the responsibility and authority that comes with the role. To help ensure you make an informed decision, consider the following five questions.

Can This Person Handle the Responsibilities that Come With Being a Power of Attorney?

Serving as a power of attorney means making significant decisions and taking on important financial responsibilities. The person you select should be able to handle the potential challenges that come with the role. Ask yourself if this person has the skills to make sound decisions and handle the legal and financial aspects of managing your affairs.


Flower Mound Wills and Trusts LawyerGiving money to charity is a great way to leave a legacy and help others in need. Incorporating charitable giving into your Texas estate plan can have several significant benefits, both for you and the organizations that will receive your support. In some cases, thoughtful philanthropic planning can also reduce the amount of tax due on your estate.

When it comes to estate planning in Texas, there are several ways to incorporate charitable giving into your plan. Some of the most common methods include creating a charitable trust, donating through an estate plan beneficiary designation, and making a bequest in your will.

Exploring the Benefits of Charitable Trusts

A charitable trust is a legal document that establishes an account funded by your assets and held for the benefit of one or more charities. Charitable trusts allow you to donate a large sum of money to the organization(s) of your choice and receive significant tax benefits, as well as the satisfaction that comes with supporting the causes you believe in.


Denton County adult guardianship lawyerTexas law allows an individual to become another person's guardian under certain circumstances. A guardian is someone who is legally responsible for taking care of another person's physical or financial wellbeing. In the case of an aging parent, a guardian may be needed if they are no longer able to make sound decisions on their own or manage their own property.

If your parent is getting older and struggling with cognitive decline or physical health concerns, you may be interested in exploring your legal options. Guardianship is a serious decision, and it is important to understand exactly what the process involves before making any decisions.

Basics of Adult Guardianship in Texas

There are two main types of guardianship in Texas. "Guardianship of the person" gives an individual authority over another person's healthcare. A guardian of the person is responsible for making decisions about medical care and living arrangements.


Texas estate planning lawyerAs the term "Autism Spectrum Disorder" implies, autism exists on a spectrum. Some individuals with autism may require minimal support, while others require substantial assistance with decision-making and everyday life activities. If you have a child with autism, a special needs trust (SNT) is an important tool that can help ensure their financial security into adulthood.

A special needs trust allows you to set aside funds that are used exclusively for the benefit of your child without impacting his or her eligibility for government benefits. This blog will explain the fundamentals of a special needs trust as well as the unique benefits it may provide to families with autistic children. 

Basics of a Special Needs Trust 

A trust is a legal document that defines how assets are to be managed and distributed. A special needs trust is specifically designed for individuals with disabilities, such as autism, who receive government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 


Estate Planning for Texas Snowbirds

Posted on in Elder Law

Texas estate planning attorneyFor many people, after working all their adult life and saving for retirement, the satisfaction when that last day of work finally arrives can be exhilarating. Once they retire, many people choose to split their time between states, depending on the seasons and weather. For example, some Denton County retirees split their time between North Texas in the warmer months and heading to warmer climates during the winter months. But just how does this splitting of residences impact a “snowbird’s” estate plan and which state laws should be followed? The following is a brief overview. For more detailed information about your particular situation, an estate planning attorney from our firm can help.

Establishing Residency

Each state sets its own estate laws, so where you live will determine which laws will apply to your estate it needs to be determined which state you actually live in. In some cases, this can be fairly easy. If you only own real estate property in one location, do your banking with one financial institution, and register your vehicle in one state, this would likely be your state of residence.

However, if you own real estate in both Texas and the other state you spend in, have financial accounts in multiple banks, or even have changed your vehicle registration depending on where you are staying, it can be more difficult to determine which state is your legal residence. If you fall into the multiple-factor category, then the state you are registered to vote in is the state that would be considered your legal residence.  


When Should I Update My Estate Plan?

Posted on in Estate Planning

flower mound estate planning lawyerExecuting a will or creating a trust is not the end of estate planning. You may have created these documents years ago, or even decades ago. You may not even know where your original copies are anymore. If it has been a long time since you visited your estate plans, it may be time to dust them off and review them to make sure the plan you have on paper is still the plan you want. Additionally, laws change over time. A higher court ruling could have affected the way your documents will be interpreted since you made them. It is wise to have your estate plans periodically reviewed by a lawyer - and to periodically look over them yourself. 

When to Revisit Your Estate Plans

If you have experienced any of these life changes, you may want to review and possibly edit your estate plans: 

  • Moving - If you changed apartments across town, you probably do not need to worry. However, if you sold your house and bought a new one, or you moved across state lines, then you will definitely want to take a look. Your old plan may specifically reference the address of a house you no longer own. Plus, state laws regarding estate planning can vary wildly. 


Should I Use a Will or a Trust?

Posted on in Estate Planning

flower mound estate planning lawyerIn a previous blog, we discussed incapacity planning. Incapacity planning is an important part of estate planning that involves planning for your own future care. The other part of estate planning - testamentary planning - is exactly what people think of when they hear the term “estate planning.” Testamentary planning is deciding during your lifetime who will receive your property when you pass away. 

The two main ways to accomplish this are through trusts and wills. Some people choose one or the other, and others use both. Which one will work better for you depends on a number of factors, such as the size of your estate and who your beneficiaries are. Our attorneys can work with you and help you determine which documents you need in your testamentary estate plan. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between a Will or a Trust

Each estate, each family, and each testator are unique. You will need to think about what your personal priorities are in estate planning. A few things to think about include: 


What is Incapacity Planning?

Posted on in Estate Planning

denton county estate planning lawyerYou may or may not have heard the term “incapacity planning” before. Incapacity planning is a part of estate planning. It refers to making a plan for your own care in the event that you become incapacitated later in life. People are living much longer lives today than in the past. While this can provide a wonderful opportunity for many older adults to spend time with their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, it also means that people are more likely to face age-related capacity issues. Alzheimer's, dementia, and other causes of mental decline related to aging are very common. It is important that people plan ahead for the possibility that they will face these or other medical concerns. An attorney can help you decide what documents you need and walk you through the process of making these very important decisions. 

What Documents Might I Use for Incapacity Planning?

A strong incapacity plan involves multiple documents that all serve distinct purposes. While it may sound complicated, a lawyer explain what each document does and why you need it. Some documents you might fill out during incapacity planning include: 

  • Advance directives - Advance directives might include documents like a living will and a DNR, if you want one. These documents let you state your wishes related to medical care in advance. For example, if you are incapacitated and diagnosed with a terminal illness, would you want life-prolonging treatments, or would you merely want to be kept comfortable? If you do not make these decisions for yourself, someone else will have to, and they may not understand your wishes. 


The Texas probate courts facilitate the administration of any estates of those who have died as residents of the state. The probate courts help interpret and enforce state law and oversee the administration of estates to reduce mistakes and conflict.

Probate proceedings can have a negative impact on the total value of an estate. People may spend thousands of dollars on court and other probate expenses. Ultimately, those costs will diminish what heirs and beneficiaries receive from the estate.

For some individuals planning their estates, avoiding probate is a priority. When is probate necessary under Texas law?


An estate plan isn’t just your will. You can add documents to protect yourself, not just to name a guardian for your children and to distribute property to the people you love if you die.

Powers of attorney are documents that could help in the event of some kind of emergency. If you are unable to speak on your own behalf, make decisions about your medical care or manage your financial circumstances, powers of attorney will give someone the authority to handle those matters for you.

A power of attorney could help if you experience incapacitation due to Alzheimer’s or cognitive decline as you age. It could also protect you if you get hurt at work or in a car crash. When do you need power of attorney? 


You may already have a basic estate plan, and that’s great. It helps protect you and the people you care about if you’re injured or pass away.

That estate plan should be thought of as a living entity, though. Your life is always changing, and your wishes may change, too. As a result, it’s necessary to go back and look at your estate plan every so often to be sure that it’s still protecting you and your loved ones in the way that you want.

Reviewing your estate plan

There are some people who will tell you to review your plan annually or every few years. Others will suggest reviewing your estate plan only after major events.


There are so many excuses people can invent to justify procrastinating about estate planning. Most people think that if they are getting ready to retire or don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal property that they don’t really need to estate plan.

However, there are many times in your life when having an estate plan is crucial for you and the people you love. Having a plan in place when you encounter any of the four situations below will do a lot to provide you peace of mind and protect your loved ones.

When you become a parent

Adding a new remember to your family through birth, marriage or adoption is an incredible experience. All of the joy of new parenthood also comes with the stress of parental obligations.


What are trusts used for?

Posted on in Estate Planning

For many people, trusts are synonymous with the incredibly wealthy. Many people overlook the potential benefits of integrating a trust to their estate plan because they assume that only someone with millions of dollars worth of assets needs a trust.

Trusts are actually powerful legal tools that can help people in everyday circumstances, including those planning their estate or those looking forward to the care they will need at the end of their life. What do people use trusts for?

People use trusts to have control over their legacy

People recognize a trust as a tool that helps people pass on their property to others and financially support their loved ones. Other people may use a trust to set aside resources for a charity.


Why do you need an estate plan?

Posted on in Estate Planning

When you think about planning for the future, you may dream of going on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation or saving for retirement or college for your children. You may not consider how important it is to have an estate plan for your future too.

If you haven’t made an estate plan yet to plan for the future, you are not alone. Unfortunately, only 32% of Americans say they have a will or other estate planning documents, according to a 2020 survey. Of those surveyed, a majority of people say they just haven’t made estate planning a priority, even though they know it’s important.

The importance of having an estate plan

Everyone can benefit from having an estate plan, not just those who are wealthy. With an estate plan, you give your family direction about your wishes. You get to choose who will receive your assets and your heirloom items in your will. You can name a guardian for your underage or special needs children and establish a trust to provide for them. You can direct that some of your assets go to your favorite charity. Without a will, Texas law will decide how to distribute your assets.

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