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Charlie  Henke Lawyer

Charlie Henke

VERIFIED
Complex Litigation, Wills & Probate, Elder Law, Lawsuit & Dispute, Arbitration
Board Certified Business and Probate Litigator

Charlie Henke is the founding partner of Henke Law Firm, LLP, the predecessor to Henke, Williams & Boll, LLP. The firm was founded in 1992. His practi... (more)

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800-971-0870

Lee Keller King Lawyer

Lee Keller King

Lawsuit & Dispute, Divorce & Family Law, Foreclosure, Wills & Probate, Landlord-Tenant
Experienced trial attorney. Member of the Texas Bar College.

Lee King proudly serves Houston, Texas and the neighboring communities in the areas of lawsuit & dispute, divorce & family law, litigation, commercial... (more)

Eric C. Grimm Lawyer

Eric C. Grimm

VERIFIED
Business, Estate, Science, Technology & Internet, Real Estate, Contract

Eric C. Grimm is an attorney in Houston, TX practicing Business Law, Estate Law, Science Law, Technology & Internet Law, Real Estate Law, and Contract... (more)

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800-619-8170

John O. Yow Lawyer

John O. Yow

VERIFIED
Estate, Wills & Probate, Estate Planning, Trusts

John O. Yow, PLLC has a thorough understanding of Texas law. I work hard to help you get the best possible results. Our first priority is providing... (more)

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800-661-8270

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Ross Booth Reifel Lawyer

Ross Booth Reifel

VERIFIED
Criminal, Accident & Injury, Estate, Business, Real Estate

Attorney Reifel is a practicing lawyer in the state of Texas.

Eric Charles Hixon Lawyer

Eric Charles Hixon

VERIFIED
Consumer Bankruptcy, Wills & Probate, Accident & Injury, Foreclosure, Insurance

Mr. Hixon is an Bankruptcy Lawyer proudly serving Bellaire, Texas and the neighboring communities.

Gregory G. Heffelfinger Lawyer

Gregory G. Heffelfinger

VERIFIED
Wills & Probate, Estate Planning, Trusts, Elder Law, Real Estate
Over 30 years experience in estate planning - wills, trusts, probate and estate administration.

Helping families in Houston and surrounding area for over 30 years. Services include wills, trusts, estate planning, disability planning, probate,est... (more)

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800-966-7950

Eraka  Childs Lawyer

Eraka Childs

VERIFIED
Divorce & Family Law, Business, Juvenile Law, Elder Law, Wills & Probate

Eraka Childs received her B.A. in Business in 1994 from Southwestern University, located in Georgetown, Texas, and she received her J.D. in 1997 from ... (more)

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800-497-8480

Sherlyn  Smith Lawyer

Sherlyn Smith

Divorce & Family Law, Estate Planning, Immigration, Deportation

When your marriage is about to end in divorce, your life is probably in turmoil. You know that, in the coming months, you will have to make many diffi... (more)

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Free Help: Use This Form or Call 800-943-8690

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800-943-8690

Free Help: Use This Form or Call 800-943-8690

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LEGAL TERMS

NONPROBATE

The distribution of a deceased person's property by any means other than probate. Many types of property pass free of probate, including property left to a surv... (more...)
The distribution of a deceased person's property by any means other than probate. Many types of property pass free of probate, including property left to a surviving spouse and property left outside of a will through probate-avoidance methods such as pay-on-death designations, joint tenancy ownership, living trusts and life insurance. Property that avoids probate is sometimes described as the 'nonprobate estate.' Nonprobate distribution may also occur if the deceased person leaves an invalid will. In that case, property will pass according to the particular state's laws of intestate succession.

SWEARING MATCH

A case that turns on the word of one witness versus another. The outcome of a swearing match usually depends on whom the jury finds most trustworthy.

LETTERS TESTAMENTARY

The document given to an executor by the probate court, authorizing the executor to settle the estate according to either a will or the state's intestate succes... (more...)
The document given to an executor by the probate court, authorizing the executor to settle the estate according to either a will or the state's intestate succession laws.

EXEMPTION TRUST

A bypass trust funded with an amount no larger than the personal federal estate tax exemption in the year of death. If the trust grantor leaves property worth m... (more...)
A bypass trust funded with an amount no larger than the personal federal estate tax exemption in the year of death. If the trust grantor leaves property worth more than that amount, it usually goes to the surviving spouse. The trust property passes free from estate tax because of the personal exemption, and the rest is shielded from tax under the surviving spouse's marital deduction.

RESIDUARY ESTATE

The property that remains in a deceased person's estate after all specific gifts are made, and all debts, taxes, administrative fees, probate costs, and court c... (more...)
The property that remains in a deceased person's estate after all specific gifts are made, and all debts, taxes, administrative fees, probate costs, and court costs are paid. The residuary estate also includes any gifts under a will that fail or lapse. For example, Connie's will leaves her house and all its furnishings to Andrew, her VW bug to her friend Carl, and the remainder of her property (the residuary estate) to her sister Sara. She doesn't name any alternate beneficiaries. Carl dies before Connie. The VW bug becomes part of the residuary estate and passes to Sara, along with all of Connie's property other than the house and furnishings. Also called the residual estate or residue.

AB TRUST

A trust that allows couples to reduce or avoid estate taxes. Each spouse puts his or her property in an AB trust. When the first spouse dies, his or her half of... (more...)
A trust that allows couples to reduce or avoid estate taxes. Each spouse puts his or her property in an AB trust. When the first spouse dies, his or her half of the property goes to the beneficiaries named in the trust -- commonly, the grown children of the couple -- with the crucial condition that the surviving spouse has the right to use the property for life and is entitled to any income it generates. The surviving spouse may even be allowed to spend principal in certain circumstances. When the surviving spouse dies, the property passes to the trust beneficiaries. It is not considered part of the second spouse's estate for estate tax purposes. Using this kind of trust keeps the second spouse's taxable estate half the size it would be if the property were left directly to the spouse. This type of trust is also known as a bypass or credit shelter trust.

BEQUEATH

A legal term sometimes used in wills that means 'leave' -- for example, 'I bequeath my garden tools to my brother-in-law, Buster Jenkins.'

DISINHERIT

To deliberately prevent someone from inheriting something. This is usually done by a provision in a will stating that someone who would ordinarily inherit prope... (more...)
To deliberately prevent someone from inheriting something. This is usually done by a provision in a will stating that someone who would ordinarily inherit property -- a close family member, for example -- should not receive it. In most states, you cannot completely disinherit your spouse; a surviving spouse has the right to claim a portion (usually one-third to one-half) of the deceased spouse's estate. With a few exceptions, however, you can expressly disinherit children.

DISTRIBUTEE

(1) Anyone who receives something. Usually, the term refers to someone who inherits a deceased person's property. If the deceased person dies without a will (ca... (more...)
(1) Anyone who receives something. Usually, the term refers to someone who inherits a deceased person's property. If the deceased person dies without a will (called intestate), state law determines what each distributee will receive. Also called a beneficiary.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

In re Estate of Tyner

Lacey Westbrook appeals from an adverse summary judgment rendered in the declaratory judgment action she initiated to have JW Tyner's will construed. Westbrook contends the trial court erroneously determined that she is not a beneficiary under the will, set the wrong postjudgment ...

In re Estate of Rhea

In October 2005, Charlotte and Trenton notified Charles of their intent to remove Wanda's personal property from the marital home. Charles labeled some of the possessions in the home to mark his own separate property, then left the house from November 11 through November 14. ...

In re Estate of Gaines

In eight issues, appellants argue (1) the trial court improperly disqualified Davis from serving as the independent executor because no motion to disqualify or opposition was filed, (2) the trial court erred in requiring Davis to turn over funds, (3) the trial court erred in denying ...