F+B Serves Clients Through the Pandemic

As the United States has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, most offices in Texas have been shut down for nearly 3 months.  Although much of the national attention has focused on the health crisis, the day to day business of many people’s lives has not stopped.  This has been true for many Ford + Bergner clients who have needed to press forward in addressing their legal needs during these difficult times.  In some cases, clients have found themselves motivated by …

Litigating Complicated Estates, Trusts, and Guardianships in Small Counties

In more than 20 years in practice, Ford + Bergner LLP has litigated a significant number of estate, trust, and guardianship cases in smaller counties.  While the 10 largest counties in Texas have specialty judges who focus exclusively on estate, trust, and guardianship cases, the vast majority of the remaining 244 counties in the state have judges who do not have significant experience with these issues.  In a substantial number of counties, these cases are heard by the county court, …

Avoiding Litigation When a Wealthy Person Becomes Incapacitated But Has No Close Family

In a recent post, we discussed the challenges that exist when a wealthy person has no children or other close relatives but needs to prepare their estate planning.  Among the biggest issues is selecting people to assist with medical and financial decisions if the person develops dementia or alzheimer’s and can no longer make those decisions for themselves.  One of the toughest issues facing a person with no close family is selecting someone to make medical decisions for them if …

Estate Planning for Wealthy Clients with No Close Family

Estate planning can be difficult in modest circumstances, and it can become extremely difficult for clients with large estates.  However, the difficulty that exists in normal circumstances increases exponentially in a situation where a wealthy person has no children, no spouse, and no close family members.  In those situations, a variety of issues arise. For instance, while most people with children or other close relatives leave their assets at death to their close family, a person with no close family …

Ford + Bergner Celebrates 21 Years!

On June 22, 2020, Ford + Bergner LLP celebrated its 21st anniversary as a law firm.  Originally founded in 1999, F+B founder Don Ford started the firm at the age of only 27.  At the time, he and his law partner embarked on a very modest law practice that was dedicated solely to representing clients in estates, trusts, and guardianships.  Within a year, the firm had succeeded enough that we hired our first associate attorney.  Over the next 21 years, …

Estate Planning Needs Increase as Corona Virus Concerns Spike

The State of Texas has been battling the coronavirus pandemic since mid-March, 2020.  For most of that time, Texas has been very fortunate that the pandemic has not hit Texas as hard as some other place in the country.  However, the month of June seems to have brought about a turning point in the Texas fight against the coronavirus.  By all accounts, the rate of infection in the state has begun to spike, and experts are concerned with where the …

Executing a Will While Social Distancing?

During the coronavirus pandemic, Ford + Bergner has seen an increase in clients inquiring about making updates to their Wills and powers of attorney.  In particular, clients are concerned about designating someone to make medical decisions for them if they are unable to make medical decisions.  Likewise, they are concerned about making sure that their Wills are updated in the event of an unexpected death.  However, one of the consistent questions clients are asking is, “Is it possible for us …

Guardianship: Moving Your Ward

For most guardians, they never have to worry about the need to move their ward. They let them remain in assisted living, in their home, or wherever they are staying while they continue to handle matters for them as a guardian. However, life is not always completely immobile. There may come a time in which your ward needs to be moved. When this happens, there are some considerations to keep in mind.  As a general rule, a guardian has the …

Do You Need to Estate Plan If You Are Not a Citizen?

So many people come to the United States to work, live, and even just to vacation. In truth, most visitors won’t need to think about estate planning in the United States if they will be returning home. However, if you own any property in the United States, either real estate or personal property like bank accounts, you need to have an estate plan in this country as well as your home country to handle it. If you own anything in …

Who Gets the Funds in a Bank Account If There is No Will?

With proper planning, you will retain full control over how your assets are distributed when you pass away. However, estate planning is something that many believe they will still have time for. This can lead to a lot of stress when a loved one passes away unexpectedly. If a loved one has passed away, you may immediately wonder who is going to retain control over the bank account. As a general matter, the deceased person’s assets are first used to …