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Is Death Funny? Can Death Be Funny? – Part Two

Read Part One

What happens if someone dies intestate in Texas?

Intestate simply means, without a will. When a person dies without a will property is distributed according to the Texas Estates Code rules, and those rules are complicated.

Did the person die married? Are there children? Did s/he own community property? Was s/he in the process of separation or divorce? Are the deceased’s parents still alive? Who are all the living heirs who may be entitled to take from the deceased?

Decedent – a dead person
Married – Texas acknowledges common law marriage but you should seek counsel on whether the marriage at issue qualifies.
Children – Adopted and by birth.
Heir – a person who receives an interest in an ancestors assets through intestate (without a will) succession.
Kin – related by blood or (big lawyer word of the day) consanguinity (of the same bloodline.)

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Your last will and testament is important, don't leave your family without.

Is Death Funny? Can Death Be Funny? – Part One

Your last will and testament is important, don't leave your family without.Can Death be funny? Is it something that is okay to laugh about? We are all going to die. Nobody questions the fact that we will die, but nobody really wants to talk about it.

I wanted to make it a topic that seemed more approachable so I went to the most creative person I know, my cousin Leana. I asked, “Is there anything funny about death? I want to start a conversation with clients and past clients about death so that they are prepared if something awful does happen.” This was her response, “So that is hard because comedy itself is hard. So funny death stuff, I keep going back to cartoons and how shows like the roadrunner are funny because they have a million lives and never really die.”

As much as I loved her response because it shows how we are grasping I realized, death just isn’t funny. Nothing about loss is funny for any of us. We can speak in retrospect about what a loved one did that was funny, that is funny. We can try to recapture a moment or a time a happenstance when we all laughed a deep belly laugh with our past loved one, that is funny to the one who holds the memory, but death just isn’t funny.

As a trial lawyer mainly focused on vulnerable road users for the past 16 years my outlook sometimes, especially when the time changes, gets a bit darker. Recent catastrophic injury and death cases have been weighing on our practice, and part of that is the suffering a family that is unprepared for death (as though anyone is really prepared) takes on. The additional sufferings, sometimes distractions, for good or ill such as probate and dealing with guardianship and other unintended consequences of the deceased’s unplanned death are hard on anyone grieving.

So, here is what I am on about. For our clients we wanted to add a service, a sliding scale service to clients who have not yet planned for what could happen. If you have children, you need to plan for what happens if you are not here. No one wants to think about that but as parents we have to. Guardianship is perhaps the most important consideration for sudden loss of life. Who would raise that child or children, and in the very unlikely event that the person whom you first select were to be disabled or also die, who is next in line for that honor and that you trust?

And if you don’t have children, do you want your family to be in probate court over your assets? And, you say you have no assets, but even the smallest of accounts and debts have judicial procedures that follow your death unless you have created a will or living trust.

We realize this is a very unpleasant, not funny topic and no one really wants to have it; consider this, if you die intestate (without a will) you forgo the chance you had while you were still alive, this is the chance you have to take care of your kids, or your parents, or spouse, and leave your affairs in order so they are not sitting Shiva in my office and hanging out with Judge Herman in our probate court.

We are now offering sliding scale services for those in need of simple estate planning and guardianship papers. No we are not becoming your grandfather’s law practice or mine. We are simply seeing a need and filling a gap for our clients who are unusually vulnerable for a variety of reasons.

Through this link you can fill out the necessary information that will help us get started on preparing the documents you need. Services and prices will vary but in ALL circumstances we will work within your budget.

Read Part Two

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