services offered by THE LAW OFFICE OF
WILLS AND PROBATE
It is important to have an attorney prepare a legal Will that will properly distribute real and personal property upon the death of the person making the Will. The Will can make the Probate process much simpler on family and can help bring peace of mind that your final wishes will be honored when the Will is in Probate. Requirements for making a Will include being at least 18 years of age, serving in the armed forces or being married. The person making the Will must also be of sound mind and have the intent to devise the property as stated in the Will.
The Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC can prepare your Last Will and Testament but we can help you with much more. Most people come to us with a desire to get a Will prepared but we prefer to meet with each client to discuss their wishes and desires to be incorporated into their Will. We prefer to prepare a Wills Package that not only includes the Last Will and Testament but also Durable Powers of Attorney, Medical Powers of Attorney, Medical Directives (also referred to as a Living Will) and HIPPA releases. We can prepare a Trust or Guardianship as part of the Wills process or separately.
Wills other Estate Planning documents are prepared in a two-step process. We meet with the testator or testators (person or persons making the Will) to discuss their objectives and wishes. If the person making the Will has minor children, one of the main concerns is making sure that there is a solid legal document to appoint a guardian for the children because without a Will, the State of Texas will make the decisions on where children will be placed. Additionally, without a Will, the State of Texas has statutory directives on who will receive the property in the Estate of the deceased who died without a Will. Once the Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Medical Directives, Living Will, HIPPA Release, Trust documents, Guardianship documents or other Estate Planning documents are prepared we meet with the client again to review the Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Medical Directives, Living Will, HIPPA Release, Trust documents, Guardianship documents or other Estate Planning documents to make sure that we have accurately captured the client’s wishes and information. It is at this second meeting that the Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Medical Directives, Living Will, HIPPA Release, Trust documents, Guardianship documents or other Estate Planning documents are signed, witnessed, and notarized.
While meeting with the client we also discuss non-Probate assets such as insurance policies, retirement plans, 401(k) plans, pensions, profit sharing plans, assets in Trusts, money in transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) accounts, or property owned in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. Additionally, we discuss Business Succession Planning if the client is a business owner.
While we prefer to meet with clients in our office, we will meet with clients that cannot make it to our office where it is convenient for them. We can come to homebound or nursing home clients in Comal County, Guadalupe County, Hays County, Bexar County Kendal County, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Seguin, Bulverde, Boerne, Schertz, Cibolo, San Antonio or most areas Central Texas.
Since it is so important to have legal Will in Texas, you should have an experienced Texas attorney advise you and assist in drafting your legal documents. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
There are different reasons for creating a Trust:
• To avoid Probate
• Estate planning
• Protection and control in the transfer of wealth
• Reduce estate tax
• To care for a minor
• To care for someone with a disability
• For charitable causes
• To care for a pet
• To purchase a firearm or gun subject to Federal regulation
Trusts can be incorporated into a Will or they can be stand-alone documents. There are many different reasons to create a trust and each one should be drafted and structured to accomplish the goal of the person creating the trust.
There are many scams that will insist everybody needs a living trust. While a living trust may be appropriate for some people, it is not a necessity for everyone. The cost to prepare a simple living trust is often about the same as the cost to probate a will. There are details to be maintained with a living trust that can be difficult for the average person to deal with. With a properly drafted and executed will, probate in Texas can be a quick and simple process. If you think a trust might benefit you, discuss it with an attorney and make sure you have an attorney prepare it for you and explain how to operate it to make sure it accomplishes what you intend it to.
It is important that your trust do what you want it to do so consult with an attorney do discuss how your trust is going to work for you. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
In Texas, Probate is the process by which the Court recognizes the death of a person and authorizes an administration of their estate. Their estate is comprised of all the assets that person owned at the time of their death. Most Texas Probate Courts will require the person submitting an application to Probate an estate be represented by an attorney to advise them on their duties throughout the process.
Texas Probate cases generally fall into one of four categories:
• Testate Administration (died with a Will)
• Intestate Administration (died without a Will)
• Muniment of Title (died with a Will, no debtsand just need to clear to title to real property)
• Small Estate Administration (estate not greater than $50,000)
TESTATE ADMINISTRATION – PROBATE PROCEEDINGS WITH A WILL
When a person dies with a Will, the Probate process is simplified, the executor is usually allowed to independently administer the Will. Independent administration allows the executor to carry out their duties as executor without strict oversight by the Court. Independent administration also typically allows the executor to perform their duties without posting a bond.
The application for Probate should be submitted for administration in the county where the decedent resided. A notice will be posted at the courthouse to allow for anybody that wants to contest the Will. After a couple of weeks, the Probate Judge will hold a hearing to acknowledge the decedent’s death, recognize the jurisdiction of the Probate Court over the case, verify that there was or was not a Will and appoint an executor (or administrator) to distribute the testator’s estate. The executor will inventory all the assets and notify the beneficiaries and creditors. Once creditors have been given the opportunity to file claims against the estate, the executor will pay any outstanding debts. If there are any disputes, a Probate Judge will hold a hearing to resolve the disputes and then the remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.
INTESTATE ADMINISTRATION – PROBATE PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT A WILL
The process for intestate administration is similar to that of testate administration. However, while testate administration usually allows for independent administration, intestate administration usually requires dependent administration. This means that the administrator must get the Probate Court’s approval to sell assets or pay debts. Also, rather than distributing the estate to beneficiaries named in a Will, the estate is distributed to heirs as statutorily required. Administrators typically must post a bond to serve as an administrator during intestate administration as well. The administrator must file accounting paperwork with the Probate Court detailing income, expenses, debt/creditor payments, and assets.
MUNIMENT OF TITLE
Muniment of Title is a vehicle for streamlining the Probate process and is the only method to Probate a Will if it has been more than four years since the death of the testator. Probating a Will by muniment of title does not require the appointment of an executor or administrator, rather the Probate Court recognizes the validity of the Will and ownership of property. Once the Probate Court determines the Will to be the testator’s, the Court will signs an order stating such or allow for a certified copy of the Will recognizing ownership in property. The order or certified copy can then be used to transfer property (usually real property).
SMALL ESTATE ADMINISTRATION (ESTATE NOT GREATER THAN $75,000)
Small estate administration allows for expedited transfer of property to the heirs without all the formalities typical to the Probate process. To be eligible for Probate through small estate administration the estate’s value must not exceed $75,000 (excluding homestead and exempt property), there can be no Will, and there is no real property other than a homestead.
• Insurance policies
• Retirement plans
• 401(k) plans
• Profit sharing plans
• Assets in Trusts
• Money in transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) accounts
• Property owned in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship
Most Texas Probate Courts will require you to have an attorney representing you during the Probate process. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
REAL ESTATE LAW
Buying or selling real estate is usually a very exciting event but it can also be stressful. For most people, purchasing or selling real estate in the form of a home is one of the largest financial transactions of their lives because of the financial and legal factors involved. With so much at stake, it is best to consult with a Real Estate attorney to help you through the process.
Whether you are buying, selling, upgrading or downsizing, a real estate attorney like the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC can give you legal guidance to help you through the process.
Services for Buyers of Real Estate:
• Assistance in negotiating the contract or purchase price
• Drafting Real Estate contracts
• Review of Real Estate contracts and explaining the terms
• Review ancillary documents to your Real Estate transaction such as mortgages, settlement statements, title commitments, and tax documents
• File and register legal documents related to your Real Estate transaction
• Attend closing and answer questions you may have
Services for Sellers of Real Estate:
• Assistance in negotiating the contract or sales price
• Prepare the Real Estate sales contract
• Review and explain Real Estate contracts prepared by real estate agents
• Resolve title issues
• Represent you at closing and answer your questions
*We cannot represent both buyer and seller in the same transaction.
Eliminate the stress of buying or selling Real Estate by having a Real Estate Attorney advise you and assist you. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
Whether you are buying or leasing land for a home site, grazing, farming, hunting, commercial, industrial, development or some other purpose, you want to know that you are getting what was promised in the handshake. Make sure that your Real Estate purchase or lease is everything you think it is; contact a Real Estate Attorney to help you negotiate, prepare or review your documents and guide you through the transaction. The Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC can help you by offering the following services:
Negotiation of agreements and contracts
Drafting and preparing contracts and documents for the transaction
Earnest money contracts
Utility service agreements
Review Real Estate sale or lease contracts and explain the terms
Represent you at closing to answer question and explain documents
Represent you when signing a lease to explain documents and the interest conveyed
When buying or leasing land, make sure you get what is promised in the handshake by having a Real Estate Attorney advise you and assist you. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
The landlord and tenant relationship in Texas is part statutory and part contractual. Perhaps you are a landlord and want to rent your property but you are worried about your lease and the terms in it. Maybe you are a landlord and need to evict a tenant. Whatever the case may be, you need to have a Real Estate Attorney that can make sure that your interests are protected. The Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC can offer the following services to landlords:
Drafting and preparing rental/lease agreements for the landlord to protect your property
Correspondence for landlords
Evictions for landlords
*We only represent landlords
Basic Landlord/Tenant Law:
Landlord must give tenants at least 3 days written notice (unless written lease provides for a shorter period) before filing an eviction suit
Landlord must give tenant at least 10 days written notice (unless written lease provides for a shorter period) before filing an eviction suit if the landlord intends to recover attorney fees
Eviction suits are filed in the Justice Court with jurisdiction over the location where the rented or leased real property is located
Texas Property Code § 92 covers landlord and tenant relationships
Texas Property Code § 91 covers lease termination
Texas Property Code § 24 covers evictions
Texas Property Code § 54 covers landlord liens
Texas Property Code § 94 covers manufactured/mobile home parks
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, a Real Estate Attorney can advise you and assist you with your rights. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
Creating a Home Owners Association (HOA) or Property Owners’ Association (POA)? Need help enforcing the covenants, restrictions and rules for your HOA or POA? Does your HOA or POA need advice regarding the duties and obligations of the Association? Do you need help enforcing the covenants, restrictions and rules that homeowners are not complying with? You need a Real Estate Attorney that can help you create, understand and enforce your HOA or POA.
While there are several statutes that control Property Owners’ Associations, below are some of the most relevant:
Texas Property Code § 204 covers what a Property Owners’ Association is and what they do
Texas Property Code § 207 covers disclosure requirements of a POA
Texas Property Code § 209 covers the operation of a POA
If you creating, interpreting or enforcing covenants, restrictions and rules in a Home Owners Association (HOA) or Property Owners’ Association (POA), you need a Real Estate Attorney to advise you. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
When starting, organizing or operating a business it is important to have the proper structure. There are many options to consider: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, General Partnership (GP), Limited Partnership (LP), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LLLP), Limited Liability Company (LLC), S Corporation, C Corporation, etc. You should discuss your goals and options for forming and operating a business with an attorney to make sure you choose wisely. An attorney will help prepare the necessary documents to form and operate your new business as well as file the necessary paperwork with the state and IRS.
It is important to have the right structure for your business so you should have an experienced Texas attorney advise you and assist you in your business formation and operation. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
One of the most popular and common forms of business entity is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). The main reason most LLCs are formed is to provide protection to the members (owners). The members are not personally liable for lawsuits brought against the LLC as long as they follow the regulations for operating an LLC. Forming an LLC also reserves and protects the name of the LLC from use by others and they will be required to get permission if the name they want to use is too similar to the name of the LLC. Name protection is afforded by filing the required Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State. In some instances there are some tax benefits of forming an LLC. Entities are created at the state level (Secretary of State) and taxes are generally paid at the federal level (IRS). The IRS does not recognize LLCs so a LLC can tell the IRS how they want to be taxed. This offers the simplicity of business form in an LLC but the opportunity to be treated as an S Corp for tax purposes.
We can help you form your LLC. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
Series LLCs are growing in popularity for holding multiple real properties. As long as the proper language is included in the Certificate of Formation filed with the Secretary of State, the proper language is included in the Company Agreement, and each series is operated independently, each series of an LLC can have its own limited liability.
If you would like help setting up a Series LLC. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
Whether just you are just starting a business or you have been operating a business for years, contracts and agreements are part of doing business. You need to make sure that when you sign a contract with another party that you are not doing so to your detriment and you also need to have contracts for your products or services that protect you. It is important to have an attorney review contracts and discuss with you the risks associated with what is included and to help negotiate better terms when necessary. An attorney can also help prepare contracts that will protect you and your company.
You need an attorney that can review and draft contracts for your business to minimize your risks. Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule an appointment, 830.625.9300.
September 16, 2022
Should I get a new Durable Power of Attorney since the 85th Legislature changed the Estates Code affecting powers of attorney?
The 85th Legislature changed the Estates Code affecting powers of attorney as follows: Requires third parties to accept durable powers of attorney (with some exceptions) Changing the language of the Statutory Durable Power of Attorney Changing the level of fiduciary duty of the agent Allowing for the agent to appoint a successor agent Allowing for …
September 16, 2022
If my spouse passes away, do I automatically inherit their assets?
Maybe. If your spouse had non-probate assets such as insurance or retirement benefits and you are the beneficiary, you typically get those assets paid out or transferred to you fairly quickly and simply. These typically do not need to go through probate if there is a surviving beneficiary designation. If your spouse had “payable on …
September 16, 2022
Can I protect my house against a recovery claim by Medicaid by giving it to my child(ren)?
In Texas, if you receive Medicaid benefits, the State is required to try to recover those costs by filing a claim against the estate and a house can be used to satisfy that claim, with some exceptions. Medicaid has a 5 year lookback period so if you give your house away or sell it for …