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The Dean Law Firm Blog

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Do You Own a Rental Home? Then You Need an LLC!

Owning a rental property may seem like a good way to earn an income stream, especially if you rent multiple properties. The rental market in Houston is surging, as the population of the City of Houston grew by nearly 10% in the last decade, according to the most recent census, and is expected to continue to grow, thus increasing the number of potential renters.

However, if you rent property owned solely in your name, then you may be exposing yourself to an enormous liability risk. If an accident were to occur on your rental property (such as a slip and fall in the shower, a pipe bursting, or an electrical fire due to faulty wiring) you would be personally liable for any damages incurred by the tenant. The tenant’s medical bills, property damages, or even a court judgment could be collected against your personal bank accounts and property.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Use a Revocable Living Trust Now to Avoid a Probate Headache Later!


If you or someone you know has experienced the Texas probate process after a loved one’s death, then you know that probate involves hiring an attorney, appearing before a judge, and several months of administration. Probate may even last several years because of a beneficiary or creditor contest, resulting in your inheritance being spent down by attorney’s fees.

Even if you have a Will, your assets will not automatically transfer to the beneficiary upon your death. Instead, the Will must be approved by a judge and go through probate administration in order to transfer title to your assets to your beneficiaries. In addition, the Will is considered public record, so anyone with internet access could view your probated Will online or request a copy from the county clerk.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Three Most Common Probate Myths to Avoid –Busted by an Attorney

Probate Myth #1: My spouse died, but I don’t have to go through probate to transfer the house or car because it’s owned in both of our names, so it all automatically passed to me.

This is the most common probate myth, and it possibly the most damaging one. In Texas, property purchased between two people (such as a husband and wife) does not transfer automatically to the surviving owner after death of an owner unless the deed also includes language that the property was purchased with rights of survivorship. This is very rare when buying a house, because most title companies will issue title into the husband and wife’s name as tenants in common, without mention of survivorship rights.

What does this mean? Let’s say that Husband (H) and Wife (W) bought a house together during marriage.

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Monday, March 1, 2021

To Inherit or Not to Inherit: Planning to Provide for Special Needs Beneficiaries

Many parents with children who are special needs or who rely on needs-based government assistance, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, make the heartbreaking decision to disinherit their special needs child in order to avoid disqualifying them from the much-needed assistance. Often, parents choose to give their wealth to one child over another, with the intent for the well child to care for their disabled or incapacitated sibling. Unfortunately, this plan often backfires, as the funds could run dry too soon, or the well child could mismanage the funds, or the well child could be sued and the funds intended for the disabled child are used to satisfy a judgment against the well child.

There is a middle ground between completely disinheriting your special needs child and allowing your special needs child to inherit but disqualifying them from government assistance. You can implement special needs trust planning inside your estate plan to allow your special needs child the benefit of your inheritance but also preserve their right to receive government assistance.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Distant Days, Silent Nights, and Warm Hearts

After all the changes that we’ve experienced in 2020, it’s no surprise that the upcoming holiday season will also be different. While the usual holiday events, family gatherings, and parties will be limited, it allows for us to focus more on what is truly important, such as spending time with close family members and friends. You can also use this time to develop new traditions that can continue beyond the pandemic, such as:

  • Baking sweet treats to send to neighbors and family. Almost everyone loves baked goods, and the extra dose of love will make these treats very appreciated.
  • Having a family movie night.

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Friday, November 6, 2020

Writing Legacy Letters to Connect with Faraway Family and Future Generations

As this highly unusual year draws to a close, people will reconnect with their family members for holiday gatherings, whether in person, over videoconference, or by telephone. In these gatherings, you would reflect on your experiences over the previous months, share memories, and express love and gratitude for your family members.

Unfortunately, due to precautions and social distancing, you may not be able to spend as much time with family this holiday season. Instead, a good way to pass on your reflections, love, wisdom, and values to the next generation is to write a legacy letter. Taking the time to write a personalized letter to your future generations will have a greater impact than you know.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Back to School Checklist: Pens, Paper, and Powers of Attorney

It’s that time of year again, when college students prepare to begin a new semester, whether at a physical campus or online, and other young adults are preparing to enter the workforce for their first job outside of school. It’s an exciting time for these young adults and their parents, who are proud of their children for moving on to the next stage in their lives.

However, as a parent, you still have that worry that you will receive a phone call from your child’s school or workplace that there has been an accident involving your child. Many young adults will end up visiting the campus doctor or the emergency room due to illness or accident. As a parent, you have a right to know your child’s medical information if they are in the hospital – but only until they turn eighteen.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Lifestyles of the Planners and Savers

We have all read the headlines of celebrities passing away without a Will, leading to sometimes bitter and always expensive and prolonged court proceedings. Turns out that not having a Will is not just for the rich and famous. A recent poll conducted by shows that 68% of adult Americans do not have Wills.

Read more . . .

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Top Five Estate Planning Mistakes


One of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your family is create an estate plan.  By having certain documents in place to take care of yourself and your loved ones in the future, you can mitigate or prevent future problems. Unfortunately, people often make crucial mistakes in their estate plan that can have devastating consequences for their families. Here’s a look at the top five estate planning mistakes that you need to avoid.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Four Simple Steps to Keeping your Estate Plan Relevant

by Laura L. Bromlow, J.D., CELA

I often get similar questions from clients when they are considering creating their estate plan.  “Once my plan is done, is there anything I need to do to maintain it?” Or, “How often should I review my estate planning documents?”  And, “What is the expense of keeping my estate plan up to date?”  These questions all speak to related issues, which is how to keep your estate planning documents relevant.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Don’t Gamble Your Estate Plan with an Online Will!


Downloading a Will from the internet seems tempting – it’s quick, inexpensive, and you just fill in a few blanks.  However, signing a Will that you bought online is like playing poker with a blindfold on—you won’t know if you’ve bet correctly until it’s too late.  I’ve counseled many clients who were shocked to learn that a loved one’s online Will was invalid.  An invalid Will is treated like there is no Will at all, which ends up costing family members thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and tying up the Estate in administration.

There are three major problems that can happen with an online Will:

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The Dean Law Firm, PLLC assists clients in Sugar Land, TX and throughout Houston in Fort Bend County and Harris County.

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