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Texas Legal Blog

Creating a succession plan for your business in Texas is smart

You run your own business and have used that business to support your family for much of your life. Since you've had success in that business, you have assets. That means you've probably already taken the wise step of planning for the end of your life by creating an estate plan. No doubt, in your estate plan, you address whom you would like the businesses ownership to pass to.

That is a very important step in creating an estate plan when you own a business. However, it is far from the only consideration that you need to keep in mind when considering your business and the end of your time to lead it. You should also have a succession plan in place to protect your business when you are no longer capable of fulfilling your role.

Business law: 3 structure options for your Texas business

On the road to becoming a successful business owner in the state of Texas, you will face many important decisions. One of the earliest and most critical decisions involves choosing how to structure your company in terms of business law. Because there are several different types of legal structures to choose from, new entrepreneurs find this decision particularly challenging.

As you may assume, an attorney experienced in business law can offer you significant guidance in choosing a legal structure. You can get a head start on your initial consultation by learning about these options before meeting with an attorney. This will provide you and your lawyer with a solid foundation upon which to build insightful discussions about your business structure decisions.

Three common estate planning mistakes people make

Overthinking your estate plan is understandable. You want to make sure that you’ve covered everything and nothing is left out. It’s great that you’ve gone to great lengths to ensure a thorough estate plan. In addition, there is a lot that goes into estate planning sometimes. However, did you know that you can over-plan and make your estate plan overly complicated?

Being thorough is good but having an overly complicated estate can cause problems just like an insufficient estate plan can. Here are common errors made in the estate planning process:

How Do I Fund My Trust?

 

As we mention on our website, probate can be a time consuming and expensive process in Texas. Probate is also a public proceeding. With strategic estate planning, you can avoid this, and your beneficiaries will receive distributions and asset transfers directly after your passing. This goal can be accomplished using non-probate assets, such as beneficiary designations on back accounts, as well as trusts.

Eminent Domain Reform Died in Session

On May 27, 2019, after countless hours of negotiations, the Texas Legislature still couldn't reach an agreement over protecting landowner rights in Eminent Domain. Legislators pledge to keep it at the top of their list in future sessions.

State Senator Lois Kolkhorst's bill, SB 421 would have mandated public meetings between property owners and big industry groups, put steps in place to prevent low-ball offers, and tried to help level the playing field. This was the third time she had presented eminent domain legislation to the Texas Legislature.

Direct Air Capture - What Does It Mean?

In an effort to improve climate change, a Houston based oil & gas exploration and Production Company (OXY) is designing the first "Direct Air Capture" plant in the Permian Basin. The purpose is to remove harmful carbon dioxide from the sky and inject it into the ground which would in turn assist with oil production. This facility will be based somewhere in West Texas. According to (OXY), they expect to start development by 2021 and is expected to be in production by 2023.

Do you need a trust if you have a will?

Even if you have a will, almost all estate assets are subject to legal proceedings before they are distributed. Long legal battles can quickly complicate financial matters. If you would like to ensure your estate is fairly and accurately distributed, a trust could be right for you. 

Judge's Ruling - Impacting High Speed Rail

A ruling made this month by a San Leon Judge, Deborah Evans, could have major implications for the proposed high speed rail between Houston and Dallas, by preventing the rail line developers, Texas Central, from using "Eminent Domain" for acquiring land for the project when landowners don't want to sell their land voluntarily. The company contends it has authority under the Texas law, but a Leon county judge disagrees. Texas Central isn't actually a railroad company; therefore they do not have the authority to sell or provide access to their properties. That ruling came in the case of a Leon county couple who sued after the company wanted to survey on their property.

Houston's Grand Parkway Receives $605 Million Federal Loan For Further Expansion

Upon completion, the Grand Parkway will make a 180-mile loop around greater Houston. Portions of the massive toll road are currently open, but to finance the next phase of construction, the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a $605 million loan to Grand Parkway Transportation Corporation, to build the road. Funds will be used for two eastern segments between U.S. 59 and I-10 - that's the portion that goes into Liberty and Chambers Counties. The new lanes will add about 44 miles to the project and they're expected to be finished in 2022 as construction is already underway. This investment will aid regional and local agencies to develop the infrastructure that best meets the needs of their communities, increase connectivity, alleviate congestion, and enhance safety. Currently, drivers can take the Grand Parkway from Sugar Land north to the Eastex Freeway. A portion of the toll road is also open near Baytown. Please Call: (281) 341-5577 for more information.

When can a will be contested in Texas?

Losing a loved one is always hard. Maybe your loved was sick for a long time, or perhaps he or she passed suddenly. No matter how they passed on, it is impossible to prepare for such a tremendous loss. One comfort is knowing your loved one is at peace.

As you move through the grieving process, you are likely experiencing many emotions. However, surprise is not one emotion you expected to experience. But learning you were almost entirely cut out, or completely cut out, of your loved one's will is a surprise. You were close over the years, and he or she indicated you would be remembered in the will. Now you are unsure what to do. Here is what you need to know about contesting a will in Texas.

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