A Letter from our Founder

Many of you know that I have personally raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the past several years. Since my Dad lost his battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2017, I’ve dedicated a significant portion of my time and resources to support the North Dallas Chapter of LLS. I never thought, though, that I’d be here.

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Lindsey Tanner
Interview with an Expert: Special Needs Trust

This week, we reached out to Robin Nelson, Vice President and Trust Officer with American National Bank of Texas Trust Department, and discussed Special Needs Trusts (also referred to as Supplemental Needs Trusts or SNTs).

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Estate Planning Dictionary: Trusts

Last week, we talked about categorizing trusts based on when and how you form them. This week, we are defining trusts bases on their purpose. The following is far from a comprehensive list of all the types of trust funds, but is a list of the most common trusts we deal with.

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Trusts Classifications: When and How They Are Formed

When it comes to establishing a trust, the first step is understanding what a trust is. A will is like leaving behind a map and a set of directions: you can find all my assets here and then please give them to these people. A trust is like packing up all your assets into a lockbox and giving someone an extra key or leaving your key behind for someone (or some people) to take control of the lockbox and all it holds.

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New Year. Same Fears.

It’s easy to set goals like exercise more or eat better, spend more time with my family and less time on my phone. But, as we come to those light-hearted resolutions, we usually are confronted with the big burdensome resolutions that we refuse to touch. Those tasks that you aren’t resolved to confront because just the thought of them gives you that overwhelming, palpable anxiety.

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What is a Trust and why would I need one?

Trusts are commonly thought to be complicated, but in reality trusts are often used to simplify matters. Think of a trust as a bucket. If you own a home, a business, a tract of land, an investment account, and a checking account, all those assets can be put into one bucket—your trust. Why does this matter?

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Estate Planning Dictionary

Estate Planning is an area of law where you will see a lot of legal jargon. But usually that’s because in one legal word, your estate planning attorney can say what otherwise would take her paragraphs to communicate. Here are some of the most common words that I find myself needing to define for clients.

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Is Guardianship Relevant to Me?

In short, Yes. When we think about guardianships, we mostly think about minor children. Honestly, that’s a great way to understand guardianships. Just like a young mother provides for her 3-year-old son, makes his doctor's appointments, grocery shops for him, plans for his future, and takes care of his day to day, a guardianship appoints someone to fill a similar role for us if we ever need it, at any age.

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Top 5 Things You Will Leave Your Heirs That Are More Important Than Money

In the estate planning world, we often avoid being overly sentimental because it can be hard to have important conversations with clients about their will if we get too emotional. After all, planning your estate requires you to make some tough decisions. We try not to add more emotion to an already emotional process. Still, as an experienced estate planning attorney, I think it’s important to share with my clients things they will leave behind that are far more important than money.

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A Disposition of What, Now?

A Disposition of Remains. When I am doing a client intake, I often ask the questions I need for all the other documents first. I almost always save Disposition of Remains for last. The reason—because it is often the hardest thing for a client to discuss.

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Understanding Your Advanced Directive

In my experience, one of the least understood estate planning documents is an advance directive to physicians. This might be because the advance directive can also be known by another name, a living will. I find that it is often confused with yet another document, a do not resuscitate (DNR). The two documents are very different.

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Why You and Your Daughter Need A HIPAA Release

Of all the documents in your estate plan, your HIPAA release form is the document you are most likely to use immediately. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (or, HIPAA) was passed to protect your health care information. HIPAA prevents all health care providers from releasing your information. A HIPAA release allows the people you designate on the form to have access to that health care information.

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What Is a Durable Power of Attorney and Why Do I Need One?

A durable power of attorney—or a statutory durable power of attorney—allows the person of your choice to handle financial, legal, and business matters on your behalf.

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Everyone Needs a Will

Your will tells those you leave behind what you own, what you owe, who should divide up your assets and pay back your debts, and, who you want your stuff to go to. We have said it before, and we will say it again, everyone needs a will. Old or young, rich or poor, sick or healthy—everyone needs a will. Today, we are continuing our series about the essential documents in your estate plan. Think of your will as the foundation of your estate plan. It is the most basic level of protection that you can put in place.

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