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Requirements For A Valid Deed In Texas
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: October 26, 2021

Drafting a valid deed or conveyance of land in Texas, in its most basic form, is subject to a number of statutory and common-law requirements. Many of these date back hundreds of years to their basis in England during the Dark Ages. These broadly relate to the following: These are only the basics of a rudimentary deed in Texas. They do not address more complex arrangements or potential liabilities. However, they should provide some insight into the law governing transfers of land. Austin real estate attorney Farren Sheehan has experience with a variety of land transfers. Furthermore, she offers a case evaluation for deeds and other real estate matters. The Form of the Deed In Texas, a deed must be in writing and signed by the person transferring the land. We call this the “grantor.” The person the grantor transfers the land to is the “grantee.” You do not have…Read More

Should You Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan?
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: September 28, 2021

On September 13, 2021, one bitcoin was worth $44,890.10. Back in 2013, that price was hovering between $50 and $300. If you got onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon early, then it’s very possible that you made a lot of money, and Bitcoin isn’t the only game in town. Ethereum, Stellar, Dogecoin, and Litecoin are just a few of the other popular cryptocurrencies circulating on the web. The values of these alternative forms of money can make them a significant part of some portfolios. But what happens to these digital assets when you pass? Why Your Estate Plan Needs to Include Cryptocurrency Texas is one of 42 states that allows executors to handle digital assets, but there are a few difficulties when dealing with these assets. Courts can make traditional assets available to executors through court orders. But there is no court order that can guarantee access to cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or…Read More

How To Avoid An “I Care A Lot” Situation
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: August 24, 2021

Sometimes a movie can shake the foundations of established law. Netflix’s new movie I Care a Lot may be one such movie. Not only has the film been a success for Netflix, it has a lot of people rethinking how adult guardianship works. The movie follows Rosamund Pike’s character Marla, who is a professional guardian. She steps in when the court finds that an elderly individual is unable to manage their life. Marla’s job is to help care for elderly people who can no longer care for themselves. Instead, she sells their belongings, forces them into nursing homes and charges her wards outrageous hourly rates. In the end, Marla leaves her wards penniless, with no civil rights, living out the rest of their days in a nursing home. Can This Really Happen To You? This is just Hollywood fiction, right? Surely this couldn’t happen in real life. Unfortunately, predatory professional…Read More

How Much Does Probate Cost In Texas?
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: July 19, 2021

For many people thinking about probating a will, the costs are a big concern. Some may consider independent administration as an alternative. Texas law allows a streamlined process of probating Wills called independent administration. However, the decedents will must be valid to provide for independent administration. This process will allow executors and administrators to perform their duties largely independent of court supervision, thereby reducing the cost. However, not every will can undergo independent administration. The following blog will discuss the costs involved in probating a Will in Texas. It will also discuss how an Austin probate lawyer, such as Farren Sheehan, can help you during this process. If you have any questions, our law firm can assist with probate proceedings in the Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville and Cedar Park areas. What Costs Are Involved In Texas Probate? The primary types of costs involved in probating a Will are: Court costs…Read More

Top Six Estate Planning Tips For Unmarried Couples
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: June 30, 2021

Marriage makes life easier in many ways. If one partner in a marriage becomes incapacitated, then the other spouse can make important healthcare and financial decisions for that person. If one spouse passes away, then any community property passes to the remaining spouse. Unmarried couples often do not have many of these rights. As a result, estate planning for unmarried couples is much different from estate planning for married partners. Note that Texas law does recognize common law marriage. If your relationship meets the standards of a common law marriage, then your estate planning needs to account for that. Include Each Other In Your Wills A will is one of the first and strongest estate planning documents you can have. It will allow you to leave assets and property to your spouse. It will also help you plan out which of your beneficiaries will receive certain portions of your estate.…Read More

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About A Power Of Attorney?
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: May 19, 2021

In estate planning, a power of attorney is a written legal document that offers power and authority to another person over specific things on your behalf. It allows another person to “step into your shoes” with tasks that can be either very general or extremely specific. In order to be considered a power of attorney, however, the document must have specific provisions by law. Many people are unaware of how a power of attorney can benefit them in their estate planning, mainly because they believe in some common misconceptions relating to it. What Are These Misconceptions Relating To A Power Of Attorney? You can sign a power of attorney if you are incompetent: Once your loved one has lost physical or mental competence (this competency level must be determined by a physician), they are legally prohibited from signing any legal documents, including a power of attorney or living trust. This…Read More

What Is The Process Of An Informal Probate?
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: April 23, 2021

The process of probate involves the compensation of any final expenses and the transferring of property and estate assets to beneficiaries after a person dies. Probate is a legal process, but it does not mean that a probate judge has to be there along every step of the probate process, nor does it mean that you have to appear in probate court. Each state has its own set of probate laws, but most states allow a tsteype of informal probate that has its own unique benefits. What Is Informal Probate? An informal probate, which is also called an informal family settlement in Texas, is a common substitute that people use if an estate is small and has mostly personal property. Informal probate is best used when the person who died left only personal belongings such as clothes, and other personal household items. Texas courts enforce family settlement agreements even if…Read More

What Makes A Will Valid In Texas?
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: February 25, 2021

Drafting a last will and testament is one of the most important things you can do in the probate process. Without one, Texas intestacy laws will govern the management and distribution of your estate. This could delay and reduce the inheritance your family receives once you have passed. It could also lead to in-fighting over your estate. These are just some of the reasons why you should take the time to write your will. However, if you do not take the time to ensure your will meets the requirements of Texas law, your family could still face many legal challenges. At Sheehan Law, PLLC, we have helped families across central Texas with their probate and estate planning needs. We understand what it takes to create a strong will that will hold up under the scrutiny of the law. Here are some of the Texas will requirements you will need to…Read More

How Do The Steps To Probating A Will In Texas Work?
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: January 29, 2021

Last month, we discussed the different ways Texas probates estates. We outlined the four methods our state uses to distribute assets to the beneficiaries of an estate. This month, we are examining the details of how to probate a will in Texas. There are 8 steps in the process of distributing estate assets to the beneficiaries of a will. Here is what you need to know about these steps. What Are The 8 Steps To Probating A Will In Texas? Filing the Will – Whether there is a will or not, you must file an application for probate. This application must be filed with the correct Texas probate court in the county where the decedent resided. Posting Notice – After filing for probate, a two-week waiting period will start. During this waiting period, the county clerk will post notice at the courthouse that a probate application was filed. This serves…Read More

What Are The Processes Of Probating A Will In Texas?
  • By: Farren Sheehan, Esq.
  • Published: December 30, 2020

There are many ways to distribute your assets after you pass. Some people use a trust, others use joint ownership or rely on direct payments from insurance or retirement policies. However, the most commonly used method of passing on property to beneficiaries is drafting a will. But before your beneficiaries can receive their inheritance, your will must first go through the probate process. But do you know what processes courts use to probate a will in Texas? At Sheehan Law, PLLC, we know what it takes to get your family through the probate process. We understand the many steps it takes and how difficult it can be. Going through probate after losing a loved one is very challenging. We want to help reduce this stress by keeping you informed. So, our Austin probate attorney has gathered information to help. What Are the Different Ways To Probate A Will In Texas?…Read More

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