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James Brian Thomas

James Thomas’s Legal Guides

14 total


  • Handwritten, or "Holographic," Wills in Texas

    In Texas, a handwritten Will may be admitted to probate. Certain circumstances must exist for the procedure to be available. While leaving a holographic Will behind may be permissible, most experienced attorneys will tell you that it isn't advisable.

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  • Coordinate Your Non-Probate Assets

    Your non-probate assets include assets that you have specifically designated to pass to one or more beneficiary at your death. Sound estate planning requires that you coordinate these assets with those that pass under a Will or Trust.

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  • Typical Evidence in a Texas Heirship Proceeding

    Heirship proceedings in Texas are designed to produce a Judgment identifying a decedent's lawful heirs and defining the relative legal interests that those heirs have in the decedent's estate.

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  • What is Involved in a Texas Heirship Proceeding?

    The majority of individuals that die do so without ever having executed a valid Will. In many of these cases, it becomes necessary for the Court to determine who exactly is entitled to relative shares of the decedent's estates. Heirship proceedings can often be challenging for the unfamiliar.

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  • Alternatives to Texas Guardianships

    Guardianship often involves the removal of many important legal rights, and vests those rights in one or several other individuals. Texas courts approach guardianships very cautiously, and will routinely look for other alternatives that are equally suited to protecting an individual.

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  • Four More Mistakes Estate Planners Can Make

    As much as Wills and related documents might appear similar from one client to another, estate planning is never a one-size-fits-all procedure. Following four additional mistakes often overlooked or under-appreciated by estate planners and clients alike.

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  • Five Mistakes Estate Planners Can Make

    As much as Wills and related documents might appear similar from one client to another, estate planning is never a one-size-fits-all procedure. Following are five mistakes often overlooked or under-appreciated by estate planners and clients alike.

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  • Independent Administration Basics in Texas

    Independent Administrations in Texas are among the most efficient methods of navigating probate in the country. As streamlined as the process may be, any person nominated to serve as Executor should consult with a skilled probate attorney. This guide highlights some of the most basic steps.

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  • Five Estate Planning Review Considerations

    Creating an estate plan is critically important. Reviewing that plan on a regular basis is fundamental to the whole idea. While the law governing Wills, trusts and probate may not change significantly from year to year, your family almost certainly will. Make it a point to consider the following.

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  • Top 8 Reasons Why We Fail to Execute our Wills

    Studies and polls routinely confirm that approximately two-thirds of Americans die without ever executing a valid Will. This list provides, in descending order, the reasons most often cited, and many of us could find that we have thought the same thing at least once or twice.

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