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Two individuals going over documents

Executors play a significant role in settling the final affairs of a deceased person and distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries. According to a 2018 study by EstateExec.com, on average, settling an estate takes an executor approximately 16 months or nearly 570 hours of effort. Therefore, when appointed as an executor, understanding your duties and responsibilities will make it possible ...

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Man writing a will in his notebook

Texas is one of 26 states that allows a handwritten or “holographic” will. Although other states hold that handwritten wills are imprecise, ambiguous, and prone to forgery, studies have shown those opinions to be generally erroneous. For some people, a handwritten will done correctly is a far better option than having no will at all.

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A last will and testament document

Most of the time, the contents of a will are not unexpected. Those who knew the author of the will, the “testator,” anticipated how they would distribute their estate. Nonetheless, there are times when an heir, beneficiary, or creditor may suspect foul play and initiate a will contest.

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Man signing a document

Perhaps the signature looks off, things have been crossed out without authentication, or a page seems to be missing. Or maybe the content of the will simply does not match what you knew about your loved one and their wishes. Could their will be forged? The fact is that very few wills are formally contested, but that does not mean ...

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Couple holding hands

A popular myth maintains that, if two people live together for seven years, they have then entered into what is called a “common law” marriage. In truth, no state recognizes marriage as resulting from just cohabitation, and most states do not recognize common-law marriages at all. Texas is one of a handful of states that do recognize common-law marriages. So ...

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Elderly Couple filling out documents

We’re all familiar with TV dramas and movies where wills are “read” and inevitably someone is upset and challenges the validity of the document. But what if the original will is lost? Can a photocopy serve the same purpose?

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Person writing on a stack of papers

Nationally, only about 32% of adults have an estate planning document such as a will or trust. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of people will be leaving their estate in the hands of a probate court.

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A couple meeting and shaking hands with an attorney

The nature and size of your estate typically determine the cost and amount of time it will take to complete the probate process. On average, the probate process can easily cost from 3 percent to 7 percent or more of the estate's total value and take up to two years to complete.

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