Law Office of Randy Michel
College Station, TX
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January 2014 Archives

Night nurse of Huguette Clark disputes estate distribution

In the past year, the estate of Huguette Clark has been settled, or so her family thought. The copper heiress had an estate worth approximately $300 million according to reports. When she died in 2011, she reportedly had a will, and had no children.

Texas wills: Why reviewing beneficiary designations is important

Estate planning is very important for everyone, but it is also very easy to make mistakes that can keep assets from being distributed as intended. For example, many think that their wills determine who their beneficiaries are. While that may sometimes be true, it generally is not the case if the designated beneficiaries are different on financial accounts such as IRAs, life insurance policies, college savings plans and bank accounts. That is why it is important for individuals here in Texas to review the beneficiary designations on these accounts.

Popularity of pet trusts growing

If you ever wanted a great trivia question to break out at cocktail parties, just ask what Gail Posner, Alexander McQueen, and Leona Helmsley all had in common. After getting past the quizzical looks you’ll probably receive, you can reveal that all of them (who were wealthy individuals) all created trusts for their pets. After they passed away, the trio left an average of $13 million for the care of their dogs.

The importance of retirement planning

As they begin retiring in greater numbers, baby boomers are likely to be less prepared for post-professional life. According to a number of media reports, the recent recession and benefits losses have put them in positions where they may not have the same financial flexibility as their parents did when they retired. This presents a unique conundrum given that baby boomers are projected to live longer thanks to advancements in medical treatment and better living standards.

Mandatory arbitration provisions in trusts

Rising court costs associated with courtroom trust litigation have done much to popularize trust arbitration throughout the state of Texas. However, statutes regulating the general arbitration process in many states don't contain provisions mandating the enforceability of arbitration in trust agreements. A further complication is the fact that the assent of all parties may not be inferred by the formation of the trust itself because the beneficiaries normally do not execute the agreement.

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Law Office of Randy Michel
232 Southwest Parkway East
College Station, TX 77840

Phone: 979-314-2965
Phone: 979-764-2435
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