Corporate Structures Series, Post #1: Do I Need an LLC, Corporation, or some other entity?

When starting a business, you may not always have the luxury of planning everything out.  You have a winning idea, it takes off, and suddenly – you’re in business! A little down the road, you start to realize the growth potential of your business and think you might need to consider forming an entity – but where to start?? There …

Descent and Distribution, Post #2: Probate and Affidavits of Heirship

What if there is no Will?  Is a probate in the County Court always necessary? We have discussed in prior blogs the results of people dying without a Will as it relates to both “Community Property” and “Separate Property.”  The reality is that many people pass away having never signed a Will.  As outlined in a prior post, the State …

Descent and Distribution Series, Post #1: Community Property

If you’ve been told before that “Texas is a community property state” and wondered what that referred to, this post is for you. Texas and 7 other states’ laws about inheritance and property rights derive from Spanish law, while the others derive from English Law (and Louisiana’s is from French law!).  That is significant because Spanish law considers property gained …

Press Release

Carpenter & Croft, PLLC is pleased to announce that J. David Carpenter will assume the additional responsibilities of Vice President and General Counsel of Home Abstract and Title Company.  David will continue in the law practice of Carpenter & Croft, PLLC, emphasizing in real estate, commercial law, and probate/estate planning. Carpenter & Croft is pleased to announce this association and …

Homestead, Mechanic’s, and Materialman’s Liens Series – Post #3: Contractor Collections

I do remodeling work for people and sometimes don’t get paid.  Is there a way to collect what I am owed? A person who supplies materials or labor on a residential home (and on other properties) does have a method under Texas law for filing a lien against the property for non-payment.  The rules differ slightly between residential, commercial and …

Homestead, Mechanic’s and Materialman’s Liens Series – Post #2: Carefully Planning Your Remodel or New Home Construction

Johnny and Betty planned to remodel and add a room onto their house.  They were both pretty handy, so they decided to do the work themselves and pay out of their savings.  A few months into the project, they realized they needed some help and decided to borrow some money and hire a contractor. So they went down to the …

Homestead, Mechanic’s and Materialman’s Liens Series – Post #1: What’s the Deal with Homesteads?

What’s the Deal with Homesteads? Texas has a complicated system of protections for the family “homestead.”  The Texas Constitution protects your home so that creditors can’t take it away and leave your family homeless.  But there are exceptions . . . the money you purchase or build a home with normally results in a lien or mortgage.  If that mortgage …

Estate Planning Series – Post #3: Does All Property Pass Under My Will? Probate v. Non-probate Assets

Not all property is automatically subject to the terms of your Will.  It can be made subject to it, but it is not automatic.  We call assets that pass according to your Will “Probate” assets, because they would come under a court’s jurisdiction should your Will ever be offered for probate. On the other hand, property or assets with designated …

Estate Planning Series – Post #2: What’s the Difference Between Community and Separate Property? Why Does it Matter?

Texas is a “community property” state because our inheritance laws are based on Spanish law, as are 7 other states. At least a century before there was equality between spouses, Texas law acknowledged marriage to be a partnership. That means that if you are married, there is a presumption that all of your property, assets, and income is community property and …