Avoiding estate disputes

Posted on November 8th, 2012 No Comments

When a person has their will drafted, they expect that their family will honor their decisions. Sadly, as estate sizes increase, so to the chances that someone will find something in how it is handled objectionable. There are many things you can do to reduce the chances that your beneficiaries will contest your will.

The most obvious method of avoiding conflict is making your intentions as clear as possible while you are still alive. Sometimes recording a video that explains why you have made the decisions you did can help clarify your intentions and reduce the chances someone will have grounds to object to them.

A more direct way to prevent estate conflict is to include an in terrorem clause in the will. Such a clause states that any beneficiary who is set to receive a significant gift will have to forfeit it if they contest the will.

While there is no surefire way to ensure that an estate will go uncontested, enlisting the services of an estate planning attorney can help you make your intentions clear.

Challenges faced by modern estates

Posted on July 5th, 2012 No Comments

When planning your estate, it is important to be prepared for any circumstances that may arise. Many people overlook what will happen to certain assets when they pass away, leaving their survivors bewildered.

For starters, people have begun doing more of their finances online. Sharing the account information in your will can allow your beneficiaries to access these funds in the event of your passing. At the same time, pets are becoming increasingly popular. If your pet were to outlive you, it is a good idea to have a specific plan for it outlined in your estate.

Additionally, many people take care of their parents as they age. Including them in your plans can allow them to continue living comfortably should you come to an untimely end.

There are a lot of factors to consider when preparing your estate. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney from Garg & Associates, P.C., at 281-362-2865 for planning for the unexpected.

George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution to be auctioned

Posted on June 15th, 2012 No Comments

George Washington’s personal copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are set to be auctioned on June 22 in New York.

The auction house in charge of the sale expects the items to go for $2 million to $3 million. This copy of the nation’s founding document was bound in a book in 1789. Two other copies were printed alongside it, one going to John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the other going to Thomas Jefferson.

This copy of the Constitution includes notes written in the margins by Washington himself as well as his signature on the inside.

The treasure is being sold from the estate of a man who died in 2007. If you need help with your estate, contact the estate planning attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 281-362-2865.

Major estate auction to be held today

Posted on May 3rd, 2012 No Comments

The estate of Mr. Joseph S. from Columbus, Texas, will be auctioned off tonight. The estate includes numerous original works of art by noted artists and myriad other items Mr. S. collected over the course of his life.

Mr. Joseph S. split his days between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his hometown of Columbus, Texas. He had two homes in Columbus, both filled with treasured antiques.

The estate sale is set for 6:30 tonight at 1811 Upland Drive, Houston, TX 77043.

As uncomfortable as it may be, it is important to plan your estate before you pass. If you are ready to begin preparing for your inevitable demise, contact the Houston estate planning attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 281-362-2865.

Battle over boxer Arturo Gatti’s estate continues

Posted on September 7th, 2011 No Comments

The wife and family of boxer Arturo Gatti, who was found dead at a Brazil resort in 2009, continue to battle over his estate.

Although Gatti’s wife, Amanda Rodrigues, was originally arrested under suspicion that she had a part in her husband’s death, she was later released when Brazilian police claimed that the boxer had actually taken his own life. Gatti’s family, manager, and close friend, however, do not believe he would kill himself.

According to a childhood friend, Rodrigues had a bad temper and had actually physically abused Gatti in the past. The friend testified that Gatti wanted to end things with his wife. However, the couple left their estates to each other in their wills.

Gatti’s family is wishing for his will to be annulled by the court, and his manager has hired a private investigator to look into his death. The private investigator believes that Gatti was murdered, and plans to make his findings public.

If you need assistance preparing your estate, please contact the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2965 today.

Market volatility can help ease estate planning

Posted on August 26th, 2011 No Comments

Market volatility, exceedingly low interest rates, and an increase in the federal gift-tax exemption could benefit wealthy families who hope to shelter assets from taxes.

Individuals involved in estate planning can take advantage of these events through discounts, GRATs, and loans.

For those who have a large amount of stock in privately held companies, the current stock market allows them to give away the stock at a greater discount. A grantor-retained annuity trust, or GRAT, works best when interest rates are low and should be considered if a person has stock in a publicly traded company or a family business. The low interest rates and stock prices of today also make funding an investment by an intrafamily loan a good idea.

If you want to get your estate in order in this volatile market, contact the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C. by calling 281-362-2865 today.

James Brown Estate Battle Continues

Posted on August 10th, 2011 No Comments

The battle over the estate of James Brown continues.

According to court documents, the trustee of the late soul singer’s estate, Adele Pope, has asked the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to get involved in the estate battle. Pope wants the Attorney General’s office to verify the value of the singer’s estate.

The original trustees claimed the estate is worth more than $85 million. Current trustees claim the “Godfather of Soul’s” estate was worth only $5 million dollars when he died. Pope questions that assertion. In a complaint filed last week in Newberry County, she asked the court for the final version and all drafts of a document called the James Brown Legacy Trust, which she says should be public record.

Brown’s surviving family members have filed a lawsuit against Pope and her fellow trustees seeking restitution. The family previously objected to Pope’s selection of several irreplaceable family heirlooms to auction to pay estate expenses, including a Grammy Award.

If you need assistance preparing your estate, please contact the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2965.

Supreme Court Ends Long-Running Anna Nicole Smith Estate Battle

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 No Comments

The Supreme Court ruled against the heirs of Anna Nicole Smith Thursday, ending a long-running estate battle that has outlived all the main players.

The nation’s highest court denied the estate of Anna Nicole Smith’s attempt to capture some of the $1.6 billion estate left behind by her late billionaire husband. The court ruled that a bankruptcy court’s decision to give the now-deceased Playboy Playmate $475 million from the estate of Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall was decided incorrectly.

Marshall and Smith were wed in 1994, and he died the following year. Marshall’s will left his estate to his son, E. Pierce Marshall, and nothing to Smith. A California bankruptcy court later awarded Smith part of the estate, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal said that a bankruptcy court could not make a decision on an issue outside of bankruptcy law.

Smith’s estate appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which sided with Marshall.

If you need assistance with estate planning, please contact the Houston Estate Planning Attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865.

Judge to Appoint Reciever in Hotelier’s Estate Battle

Posted on May 27th, 2011 No Comments

A judge in Florida said Monday he will appoint a receiver to manage the finances of a corporation that is at the center of an estate battle.

At the center of the estate battle is JBDK LLC, a corporation that was jointly owned by Myrtle Beach hotelier Dorothy Anderson and her husband, James Anderson. Judge Larry Hyman said he is concerned that Bert Anderson, a personal representative of his mother’s estate, has been given no information about how much money has passed through a a company checking account.

According to court documents, James Anderson transferred all of his interest in the corporation to the couple’s other son, Bobby, who has blocked Bert Anderson’s access to the checking account and has refused to provide an accounting for the funds. Bert Anderson filed a lawsuit against his father and brother, claiming that half of the money in the company checking account belongs to his mother’s estate.

If you need assistance with estate planning, please contact the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 281-362-2865.

Spring clean your estate plan

Posted on May 6th, 2011 No Comments

Experts have said that Spring is not just an optimal time to clean your house, but it is also a great time to review documents like your estate plan and make sure that it is in working order.

Life is constantly changing, and so your will should reflect those changes. Estates should be updated if the composition of a family has changed, for example if you divorce, remarry, or have children. Also, if you have lost or gained assets, these should be written into your estate.

Estates should also reflect any changes in legislature that will affect estate taxes. These laws can change every few years so being up to date on your will can assure that your loved ones receive exactly what you intended them to in the event of your death.

If you or someone you love needs help planning an estate, please contact the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 800-242-2151.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
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