Failure to make a plan can be costly to your family. Death and incapacitation can leave families emotionally devastated. The failure to properly estate plan adds to the confusion and uncertainty of trying to effectuate a loved one’s wishes. Robin G. Hughey is experienced and is very knowledgeable in the area of estate planning. No matter what stage of life you are in, Robin G. Hughey can help you realize your goals and achieve a workable plan to accomplish them.
Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains
An Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains appoints an agent to decide how your remains will be disposed of after death. It also allows you to give special instructions on how you would like your remains to be disposed.
Directive to Physicians / Living Wills
A Directive to Physicians, often referred to as a Living Will, directs your attending physician to withhold or not withhold life-sustaining procedures if you are suffering from a terminal or irreversible condition.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
A DNR is a legal order written by the patient to instruct health care providers in case their heart were to stop or they were to stop breathing. It instructs health care providers not to do any cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone to act for you in the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to handle matters on your own. You can authorize your agent to do as much or as little as you would like such as handling your money, running your business, or anything you do for yourself.
A HIPPA authorization is a legal document that grants the people you authorize permission to use your protected health information for purposes such as making decisions under a Medical Power of Attorney.
Medical Power of Attorney
A Medical Power of Attorney authorizes an agent named by you to make decisions regarding your health care and medical treatment. It only becomes active if you are unable to make decisions regarding your treatment. After the Medical Power of Attorney is properly executed, your agent can make your medical decisions once your attending physician states in writing that you are unable to make your own medical decisions.
A trust is a written agreement where a “grantor”, “settlor” or “trustor” puts legal title to property to be held by a “trustee” for the benefit of one or more “beneficiaries”. There are terms in the trust document which state how the trust property is to be managed and when and how trust property is to be distributed to beneficiaries. There are many different kinds of trusts. A trust created during the grantor, settlor or trustor’s lifetime is called an “inter vivos trust”. A trust created in a will is called a “testamentary trust”. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. Trusts are useful for many reasons. They are often set up for the benefit of minor children or incapacitated individuals. Living trusts are often set up to avoid probate, avoid ancillary administration and manage assets. In addition, trusts are often used to reduce estate taxes.
A will can help provide for your family in the event of your death. Making sure your will is valid and current is equally important. Computer forms package wills are usually better than no will but often are missing specific language required by Texas law, the lack of which can complicate the probate process. A will drafted by an experienced attorney will ensure your savings and assets are distributed according to your wishes. Having a properly drafted will can also significantly reduce your probate costs and provide for a streamlined probate process. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of the State of Texas and your loved ones will often be subject to a more costly and complicated probate process.
Robin G. Hughey assists executors, administrators, beneficiaries and other interested parties in securing their interests in a decedent’s estate with or without a will. Mrs. Hughey can assist you in applying for Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration or with probating a will as a Muniment of Title. She can also help you with court filings, creditor notifications and with the location and verification of assets. Robin G. Hughey can assist with deed transfers of real properties and transfers of personal assets as set out by a will or state laws. With over 25 years of experience in probate and estate planning, Robin G. Hughey will guide you and ease you through what is often a complicated legal process.
Affidavit of Heirship
An affidavit of heirship is a document used in lieu of estate administration. It is witnessed and filed in the deed records where the real property is located. It is usually used to transfer real property.
In a dependent administration, the court closely supervises the actions of the administrator. The dependent administration is often cumbersome and expensive because it is closely supervised by the court but the close supervision by the court provides a lot of protection for the heirs.
Heirship Determination Proceeding
This proceeding determines the heirs of an intestate decedent (a decedent with no will). Unknown heirs are represented by a court appointed attorney and the judge determines who the heirs are after hearing evidence.
An independent administration is often created by language in the will of the decedent but it can be created by the probate court by agreement of all the beneficiaries of the estate.
Letters Testamentary and Letters of Administration
Letters Testamentary and Letters of Administration are documents issued by the court to an executor or administrator which demonstrate authority from the court to act for the decedent’s estate.
Muniment of Title
Probating a will as a muniment of title provides for a streamlined probate process and does not require the appointment of an administrator or executor. If a court is satisfied that there are no debts in the estate and there is a valid will, a muniment of title may be granted if no formal administration of the estate is necessary. The Court's order then becomes legal authority that the beneficiaries in the will are entitled to receive assets without an administration. Muniment of Title may not be appropriate in an estate with significant assets, particularly with assets subject to out of state administrators.
Small Estate Affidavit
A small estate affidavit allows the heirs at law of someone who died without a will to avoid going through full estate administration if the decedent’s estate is small and simple. In Texas, a small estate affidavit can be used if the entire estate, not including homestead and exempt property, is worth $50,000 or less. A small estate affidavit cannot transfer title to real property unless the real property is the homestead.