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Joint vs. Contractual Wills in Texas: How Best Laid Plans Can Go Awry

Joint Wills vs. Contractual Wills in Texas | Austin Estate Planning Lawyer

When & Why Contractual Wills Are Used & How to Protect Your Interests as a Testator or Heir

Joint wills have been used for decades as a way for two parties to share one will when they have the same vision for their estate, fully agreeing on how to distribute their property. Better suited for simple estates with minimal beneficiaries, joint wills tend to come into play with spouses, domestic partners, and family members, particularly those looking for a seemingly easy way to simplify an estate plan and memorialize their wishes in a single document.

As straightforward as joint wills may appear on paper, the reality is they may not be the most prudent option for achieving testators’ shared objectives. In fact, with joint and contractual wills in Texas, specific limitations and distinct challenges can arise when it’s time to administer the will and enforce its terms. That can open up some disadvantages and unforeseen obstacles, some of which can spark contentious disputes in the future. 

Foreclosure Sales: Buyers Can Be Required to Forfeit Property Even Years After Purchase

reclosures, Property Sales & Estate Administration in Texas | Austin Estate Planning Lawyer

Buyers, Beware of Purchasing a Decedent’s Foreclosed Property. Here’s Why.

Foreclosures and property sales typically attract real estate investors hunting for bargain basement prices. That’s no secret. However, there may be hidden risks involved in these transactions when the property owner has recently passed away. 

In fact, when it comes to foreclosures on a decedent’s property in the Lone Star State, Texas Estates Code and case law set forth some distinct rules regarding when: 

  • The foreclosure could be rendered voidable.
  • The sale of the foreclosed property could be superseded and reversed via the administration of an estate.
  • The buyer of the foreclosed property could lose out, despite making a good-faith purchase. 

Would Ron Swanson’s Will Be Valid Under Texas Law?

Would Ron Swanson’s Will Be Valid Under Texas Law? | Austin Estate Planning Attorney | TAW Law TX

Testing the Simplicity of Wills, Ron Swanson’s Will Also Puts Texas Estate Law to the Test

Wills are complicated legal documents that should be carefully crafted with several terms and many details that cover at least a couple of pages — right

Nope, that’s ALL wrong in the eyes of Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson, the rugged, ultra-masculine libertarian character who is all about simplicity and small government.

In fact, Ron breaks out his will in one episode to hilarious effect because it’s a one-sentence, handwritten will that he wrote when he was 8 years old.

Comedy and fiction aside, could Ron Swanson’s will really hold up in a Texas court today?

What issues would it raise and how would those be resolved?

Cryptocurrency & Blockchains in Estate Planning

Crypto & Blockchains in Estate Planning | Austin Estate Planning Lawyer

Key Considerations & Strategies for Digital Currency in Texas Estate Planning

Digital assets, like cryptocurrency, have proliferated wildly over the past decade or so, presenting exciting, yet risky, investing opportunities while raising complex new legal issues, particularly in the area of estate law. 

From tax liabilities and fiduciary responsibilities to accessibility and asset administration, digital currency requires unique considerations and prudent strategies to ensure its proper treatment in estate planning and administration in Texas.

Unpacking these intricate issues, this guide to cryptocurrency and blockchains in estate planning covers:

A Guide to Real Estate Privacy Trusts

Real Estate Privacy Trusts | Austin Trusts Lawyer | Law Office of Todd A. Wilson

How to Maintain Privacy & Protect Your Interests When You Own Property in Texas

Real estate privacy trusts (REPTs) can mask the individuals and businesses behind property transactions and real estate ownership in Texas, providing a powerful solution for maintaining anonymity in searchable, public records. Beyond the rich and famous, several parties can benefit from the privacy — and other advantages — provided by REPTs. 

Todd Wilson Attny answers questions about Privacy Trusts

To help you determine if this estate planning tool is right for you and your needs, this guide breaks down some key definitions, issues, benefits, and more, including: