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The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

The Path to Your Piece of Mind
Divorce and Family Law Matters

We are now accepting clients statewide in Texas.

WE ARE WORKING!

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team is extremely important to us. We are watching for the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and international medical experts to learn how we can best manage our facility and our clients.

We would like to reassure you that The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients.

Our lawyers and paralegals are working in the office and electronically, although most of us are working from home. Below is a list of FAQs regarding our response and commitment to you during COVID-19.

Can I even have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?

Yes, The Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. has a comprehensive remote working capability and all of our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.

Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?

Yes, your legal matters will continue to receive our attention. You can email, call, or videoconference with your lawyer during this time.

We also have multiple videoconferencing options; please contact your attorney for the platform that works best for you

How are court hearings and appointments affected?

Court in Bexar County are now conducted by Zoom Please see our blog article Court via Zoom: It’s Actually, Really Court (and Here’s How It Works)

Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?

Yes, we have office staff working in house and remotely to ensure continuity in our business. For information about a family law or divorce matter, please call our office or complete the Request a Consultation Form.

Your family law matters remain our top concern and we are not going to permit this pandemic to take priority over your needs. We will remain confident, alert and prepared.

We wish you and your family well as we work through this difficult situation together.

With warm regards,
Lisa A Vance

 

 

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Top Five Misconceptions Regarding a Will

| May 5, 2017 | Probate Law, Wills |

I speak with people about estate planning all the time, specifically wills. I’ve found that many people have very similar misunderstandings regarding a will.  I’ve put together a list of the top five misconceptions I’ve run across. I invite you to look and see if you’ve been victim to any of these fallacies.

Number 5: “I can’t change my will once it’s been drafted.”

Actually, a will can be changed at any time after it has been drafted and executed, so long as you still have capacity.  In some cases, you can simply draft a codicil to the will, a separate document indicating that there has been a change to the will, rather than rewriting the whole will.  (It’s always best though to check with an attorney to see if a codicil is sufficient for making the intended changes.  

Number 4: “I don’t know who I want to give my possessions to, so I can’t draft a will yet.”

When drafting a will, you just need a general idea of who you want to leave your assets to. You do not need to specifically name every person to whom you wish to give every single tchotchke. In other words, the will is going to look at the big picture, and then you can work with your attorney on how to accommodate specific individual items.

Number 3: “My family knows how I want my estate distributed, I don’t need a will to tell them what to do.”       

Oh, how I wish this were true sometimes!

First of all, your family does not decide how to distribute your estate after your death. The Texas Estates Code has provisions determining the distribution of your estate. The administrator of your estate must follow these rules while probating your estate. 

Secondly, even if you believe certain family members would waive their right to any portion of your estate to which they are entitled, that doesn’t always happen. Death is a difficult thing to deal with and it can sometimes make the kindest person the harshest.  Don’t leave this burden to your family. If you know what you want done post-death, do your family a huge favor and draft a will.

Number 2: ” I don’t need an attorney to draft a will.”

While this is technically true, it leaves you walking a fine line. Texas law does not require that you hire an attorney to draft a last will and testament, and there are many ways for you to do so without going to an attorney. Regardless of what you find on the Internet to “help” you, it puts the burden of legal interpretation on your shoulders. If you include or exclude certain things, you may end up with an unenforceable will. You could also unknowingly be creating tax consequences for your family. While it is possible to draft a will yourself, it is truly best to seek the counsel of a licensed attorney to assist you.   

Something to ponder: Would you give yourself a root canal just because you can find a how-to video on the Internet, or would you go to a dentist?

Number 1: “I don’t have anything, I don’t need a will.”

I strongly believe every person needs a will. A will is your safety net to ensure the assets you do have, which you have earned through your hard work, will go to the person or people you feel deserve them. Plus, a will can do more than distribute your assets. It can direct how you would like your funeral to be conducted (or can even specify you don’t want a funeral).

And perhaps most importantly, when people come in to speak with me about a will, we discuss other estate planning documents which would be beneficial to them–helping many of them with unexpected issues that might come up while they’re still alive.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers the biggest misconceptions out there that keep people from doing the estate planning they need. If this article has you thinking you need a will and maybe more, I’d love to meet with you and help you get the estate planning counsel you need.

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