If you are considering becoming an organ, eye or tissue donor, you can access some valuable online information to help you make your decision. Laws relating to organ donation (as well as medical powers of attorney, durable powers of attorney, and wills/trusts) vary from state to state. The state of Texas maintains the website www.DonateLifeTexas.org. If you live in another state, your state … [Read more...] about Planning for the Future; Should you Become an Organ Donor?
If you are making a will for the first time (or updating one for the first time in a long time), this handy list will help guide you. No matter how small or large your estate, the answers to these questions are important. Who will be the ultimate beneficiary of most or all of your estate? What if the person(s) in item #1 dies before you do? Who will get their portion? What "special … [Read more...] about Decisions to Make About Your Will and Estate Plan
The family issues which arose at the end of Casey Kasem's life were played out in the public eye, but unfortunately, this type of situation could happen in a lot of families. Let's face it, there are some variables that no one can anticipate. For instance, most of us expect (hope) that we and our family members will die "when we are older" and that we will have time to plan. We also hope that … [Read more...] about Do the Casey Kasem Family Woes Contain a Lesson for the Rest of Us?
If you are about to have your will drafted, you will need to choose someone to be your Executor. Depending upon the situation, you may also need to choose someone to be a Trustee of a trust, or be a Guardian to your minor children. The same person may serve in all of these roles, or there may be two or three different people chosen by you. It is a very good idea to approach the person first … [Read more...] about How to Talk to Someone about Being Executor (or Guardian, or Trustee) in Your Will
We always tell people to consider updating their will if one of the “major players” dies, becomes incapacitated or estranged. In other words, if a named beneficiary (someone who is inheriting), an executor (person who will manage the distribution of the estate) or a trustee (person who you have named to manage a trust) cannot do whatever it is you anticipated them doing (whether it is inheriting … [Read more...] about When to Update Your Will
Planning for an elder parent is difficult enough without old "baggage" showing up. However, that is often exactly what happens. The stress and uncertainty of dealing with an elder parent's future can activate old family issues and rivalries that everyone thought were long gone. Here are some tips to help ease the pain of sibling rivalry when a elderly parent is unable to make a plan for … [Read more...] about Sibling Rivalry and Elder Planning
If you have reason to believe that your loved one may be approaching a time when s/he will not be able to handle his/her own daily life or financial affairs, you may be frightened and confused about your options. People often (mistakenly) think that there is nothing that can be done unless "things get really bad." Actually, there is a lot that you can do to plan in advance. A guardianship … [Read more...] about Power of Attorney or Guardianship?
On November 5, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral argument about whether Texas can grant divorces for same-sex couples. Since Texas law currently does not allow any action that "legitimizes" same-sex marriage, the Texas Attorney General argues that granting a same-sex divorce is an action that recognizes same-sex marriage that occurred in another state. The two couples who are … [Read more...] about Texas Supreme Court to Hear Cases About Same-Sex Divorce