In Texas, when a person who leaves a will passes away, the decedent’s estate vests immediately in the devisees under the will, subject to payment of the decedent’s debts. But what are the rights of the surviving spouse in his or her community property interest in the decedent’s property? This issue was recently addressed by

Introduction. Family estate disputes over trusts and wills often bring out the worst in the parties as was exemplified in the recent case of ESTATE OF FELIPE A. RADELAT, DECEASED, 02-17-00264-CV, 2019 WL 5792652, at *1 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Nov. 7, 2019, no pet. h.). In this case, Lourdes Radelat sued her mother

In Texas, handwritten wills are enforceable if they meet certain criteria. To be valid, a holographic will “must be signed by the testator and wholly in the testator’s handwriting.” Ajudani v. Walker, 177 S.W.3d 415, 418 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, no pet.). Of course, many interesting issues arise in determining whether a handwritten

Introduction. Preston Marshall, Appellant V. Ribosome L.P, is an interesting trust and limited partnership dispute involving the descendants of Texas oilman J. Howard Marshall II. 01-18-00108-CV, 2019 WL 2041062 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] May 9, 2019, no pet. h.). The trial court granted a summary judgment against Preston Marshall on his claims against Ribosome

Corporate and trust litigation can be tricky. In a recent Texas case, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals held that trust beneficiaries failed to plead facts showing they had the legal right–standing–to bring a lawsuit on behalf of their own trusts. As a result, they lost their case on summary judgment.
The case of

Contingent trust beneficiary. A contingent trust beneficiary is one who does not have the right to receive benefits under a specific trust until the occurrence of a future event.  Typically, a contingent beneficiary’s right to receive benefits under the trust would vest upon the death of one or more named beneficiaries. The question often arises

The Texas legislature made numerous changes to state laws in the estate planning area including to statutory provisions that govern wills, trusts, probate, and financial powers of attorney. One substantive change to the Durable Power of Attorney Act limits the scope of the fiduciary duties owed by the appointed agent to his principal (person granting the power) under a financial power of attorney.

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A recent court of appeals discussed the significance of the fiduciary relationship created when someone signs a power of attorney authorizing another to act as their agent.  (Jordan v. Lyles, 485 S.W.3d 785 (Tex. App. – Tyler 2015)).  In this case, Bud executed a durable power of attorney appointing his stepdaughter as his