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Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianships Archives

Alternatives to Probate - The Transfer on Death Deed

Passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015, House Bill 462 allows owners of real estate to transfer their interest to heirs outside of going through the probate process, similar to a beneficiary designation on a bank account or insurance policy. You can name both a primary and contingent beneficiary. In order for the Transfer on Death Deed to be effective, the deed must:

Alternatives to Probate - The Lady Bird Deed

A Lady Bird Deed, also known as an Enhanced Life Estate Deed, is a good probate alternative when you want to leave property to someone after you pass away, but want to retain ownership throughout your lifetime. It is an inexpensive probate alternative for real estate. The beneficiary does not get any rights until you pass away. It is commonly used in Texas because you do not need the beneficiaries consent to convey, sell, or mortgage the property.

Why You Need a Will - Simultaneous Death

In many cases, the testator dies before the beneficiary. In fact, the Estates Code, which governs probate law in Texas, presumes that the testator and a beneficiary will not pass away close together in time. However, that is not always the case. In tragic situations, a beneficiary to a will may pass away within a short period of time from the testator, known as Simultaneous Death in the Texas Estates Code.

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