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RNN LAW > Blogs (Page 3)

Deadline to Protest Property Taxes – May 31, 2014

Texas residents should have received their assessment of property value earlier this month. The deadline to file the Notice of Protest is generally May 31, 2014. Many Denton County residents property assessments increased quite largely … many by fifteen percent or more. If one feels like the appraisal is too high, then s/he should file a protest. A relatively complete list of reasons to file a protest are outlined below. the market or appraised value of your property the unequal appraisal of your property the inclusion of your property on the appraisal roll any exemptions that may apply to you the qualification for an agricultural or...

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What Happens to the House and Mortgage When Someone Dies?

Attorneys handling estate planning and probate matters are often asked, “What happens to the house and mortgage when someone dies?” To answer that question, one must understand that almost all mortgages and deeds of trust contain a due on sale clause. A due on sale clause is a provision that bans the homeowner(s) from transferring any interest in a property. If a homeowner transfers an interest in the home, then the bank may cause the entire balance of the note to be due at once. If the note remains unpaid, then the lender may foreclose on the property. Obviously, that seems...

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Who Should be Included in Your HIPAA Release?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the law that disallows a doctor or hospital from providing a patient’s medical information to a third party without a release. Many people obtain releases during the ordinary course of business, like insurance companies. In addition, HIPAA Releases are usually included in Medical Powers of Attorney. However, should people other than agents under a Medical Power of Attorney be included in a HIPAA Release? A Medical Power of Attorney is usually only executed along with a person’s last will and testament, which is not typically updated very regularly. And, families often move...

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Optional Provisions of Wills and Trusts

Last Wills and Testaments and trusts are obviously separate instruments. However, they are often complementary to one another. One may choose a variety of different options regarding a will and trust. This post will focus on a few of the options that are more popular. 1.            Contingent Trust – Wills distribute property upon the death of the testator. Trusts distribute property under the terms of the trust agreement. Oftentimes, though, a beneficiary of a distribution may be a minor. Alternatively, the beneficiary may be mentally incapable of minding the distribution. In these cases, clients may include a contingent trust. The contingent...

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Wills Are Public Information / Trusts are Not

Following the tragic death of Paul Walker, it was reported that he bequeathed approximately $25 million in assets to his daughter. How did they get that information? It was in the probate filings of his executor, which also (presumably) contained a copy of his last will and testament. One can make a very strong argument that one’s financial situation, especially upon death, should be a private matter. Why should it be public information? However, consider the other side. Wills provide information to the families. If the wills were not public information, then estranged family members, or at least quarreling family members,...

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When is my Security Deposit Due? – Residential Tenancy

Tenants often wonder when their security deposit must be returned after leaving a rental unit. Typically, the security deposit must be returned within thirty days following surrender of the property. Surrender of the property can be different from the end of the lease. The landlord is allowed to deduct damages and charges for which the tenant is liable from the security deposit or for breach of the lease. Security deposits cannot be withheld for normal wear and tear. Additionally, the landlord should provide the tenant with an itemized list of deductions unless the tenant owes rent when the property is surrendered...

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Congressman Michael Burgess (TX)-Obamacare Video

I believe it is important to know what your elected officials think about the most important topics of the day. My elected US Representative is Michael Burgess. Here is a video of him on the floor explaining the process of how the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was implemented, and why he believes it should not be funded. Regardless of your own beliefs on any particular topic, each of us should take the time to know our elected officials. I'll try to post additional information from some of Frisco's other elected officials, as well. Robert Newton is an attorney based in Frisco, Texas, that practices...

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Texas For Sale By Owner Documents

Occasionally situations arise where a real estate broker is not needed in a real estate transaction. Circumstances would include the buyer and seller knowing each other, a hot real estate market (like the one in Frisco, Texas), and many others. In those circumstances, the buyer and seller often need assistance generating the legal documents to form a binding contract and transfer the property. Although general form sets are online, they can be risky to use because every real estate transaction is a little different. Instead, hire a real estate attorney to make sure it’s done right. Most real estate lawyers’ prices...

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Why an Attorney Should Draft Your Will

Considering one can find almost any legal document online, people often wonder if it is worth hiring an attorney to draft the last will and testament, living trust, and other estate planning documents. The answer is unequivocally, “Yes.” Although one may derive some bias in this author’s response, the response originates from experience. Many of the problems discovered during probate arise due to online documents. Quite simply, one can hardly replace the independence and the process an attorney offers. For instance, if the will is contested in court, then the attorney may be able to testify about the specific item being...

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The Process of Creating a Last Will & Testament

Clients often inquire about the process associated with creating a last will and testament. For most individuals and families, the process is rather simple and starts with a call to a local attorney. Between the phone call and the initial consultation, the attorney will likely provide a questionnaire to complete and bring to the initial consultation. At the initial consultation, the estate planning lawyer will review the answers to the questionnaire and start delving deeper. Perhaps the biggest issue discussed at the initial consultation is alternative distribution scenarios. Most people plan on distributing their assets to his/her spouse and then children....

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