Depending on the nature of the property you own and how it’s titled, you may want to ask your lawyer to create a trust that will help you meet all your estate planning needs. To prepare for such an appointment, be sure to take along two lists – one noting all the properties you own and the other indicating the beneficiaries you want to help by naming them in the trust.
Your attorney will need to ask some general questions to help you decide which one of these trusts is best suited to your current financial situation.
Before describing some of the precise differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts, this article will note some of the general reasons why they’re often desirable.
What general benefits do trusts often confer on estate planning clients?
What are some specific benefits of revocable trusts?
Should you need any help with creating or updating a trust account, please feel free to contact one of our Murray Lobb attorneys. We’re ready to provide the legal advice you’ll need to fully protect your assets in the future. Our firm can also help you revise your estate plan as your family continues to grow and new investments are added to your portfolio.
CATEGORIESPLANNING, TEXAS, TEXAS LAW, TRUSTEES, TRUSTSTAGS#CHOICES, #COMPARE, #HOUSTONATTORNEYS, #IRREVOCABLETRUST, #KNOWLEDGEISPOWER, #MURRAYLOBBATTORNEYS, #PERSONAL, #PLANNING, #PROTECT, #REVOCABLETRUST, #TEXAS, #TEXASLAW, #TEXASLAWYERS, #TRUSTS, #VERSUS, #YOURASSETS, HOUSTON
In early August, the Galveston Art League Gallery is hosting a multiday Japanese folk art workshop in which participants will construct and decorate a pull-cart resembling a fish or a watermelon slice. This folk art, called Taiguruma, originated in the Maki region of Niigata, Japan, more than 150 years ago. The colorful toy cart traditionally resembles a fish commonly known as a sea bream, which is called “tai” in Japanese.
Motoyuki Noguchi returns to Galveston to lead this workshop for the sixth time; the Art League has hosted the previous four. The workshops are held as part of the Sister City program with Niigata.
Noguchi will teach how to build the carts using paper stretched over bamboo frames. Following the construction process, attendees will paint their carts. A candle is placed inside after the carts are finished. When the carts are pulled, they have an irregular movement, and – between the uneven motion and the flickering candles inside – the toys seem to come to life. In the case of the fish cart, the bream appears to be swimming.
No experience is required to take this workshop, which is spread over four days: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 5, 6 and 7 (with an hour off for lunch) and 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 8. The workshop will be held inside the Galveston Art League’s recently expanded gallery, 2117A Postoffice St. in downtown Galveston.
The cost for the workshop is $115, and all supplies are provided. To register, please visit www.GalvestonArtLeague.com and click on “Workshops.” If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Galveston Art League Workshop Coordinator Susan Pinkerton at 832-752-3280.
Low-cost workshops are one of many ways that the 105-year-old Galveston Art League fulfills its mission of supporting visual arts and arts education. The nonprofit, all-volunteer Art League also promotes and displays the works of local artists, offers children’s classes, participates in ArtWalk, and periodically holds mini-workshops at Galveston’s Own Farmers Market.
The Galveston Art League primarily is funded by contributions, memberships for artists and non-artists, sponsorships, and an annual gala. This year’s gala, which will include live music, auctions, and fine dining, will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, in the San Luis Hotel Ballroom in Galveston. For more information about the league and its gala, please call 409-938-1671, visit www.GalvestonArtLeague.com, or email email@example.com.
TEXAS CITY, TEXAS (July 2019). Boots, class and a little sass is what you will find at the third annual Boots & BBQ on August 22,2019 in the Wings of Heritage room at the Nessler Center in Texas City. Boots & BBQ, chaired by Dr. Vivian Hernandez and Karen Etheridge is presented by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Galveston County Salvation Army and recognizes the dedication of the Honorable Charles T. and Mary Ellen Doyle. Early sponsors are Texas First Bank, South Land Title, Fred & Kim Raschke, Gary & Kitty Potter and Carlos & Sylvia Garza. Additional sponsorship opportunities are now available at salvationarmygalvestoncounty.org under Events.
Enjoy a Texas-sized menu of barbecue prepared by Lighthouse Charity Team. Grab your partner and dance along to great country music, or just grab a barbecue plate to go.
Chuck and Mary Ellen Doyle have been pillars of Galveston County society for 60 years. They are known for their giving and caring spirit and willingness to work hard for the community they love. Mary Ellen was the first female President of United Way and wrote columns for the local papers for years. Chuck served as Texas City commissioner for nearly 20 years before spending 10 years as Mayor of Texas City. He founded a community bank which grew into Texas First Bank. The Doyles have been instrumental in many beautification projects, are big supporters of education and charitable organizations like The Salvation Army. They were responsible for the success of a recent Capital campaign, donating over $255,000 to help rebuild the Texas City Salvation Army which burned down in 2012. Chuck and Mary Ellen will receive a Champion of Hope award from the Women’s Auxiliary for their efforts on behalf of the less-fortunate in the local community.
Hip Hop Hope Galveston is a program provided by Rock The Island Ministries that holds monthly and/or bi-monthly outreaches in under served communities with the goal of leading men, women, and children to Christ. Check out there Facebook page for more information
For more information
Call (409) 771-0046
No hunting license? No problem…at least when it comes to wild pigs (Sus scrofa). These exotic invaders continue to be a growing detriment to water quality, native species, habitat and agricultural production. Estimates indicate that wild pigs cause between $800 M and $1.5 B in agricultural damages alone each year in the US (Pimental 2007; Elsey et al. 2012). Texas is home to an estimated 2.6 M wild pigs, and driving the population downward is vital to reducing negative impacts. The good news is that regulations for taking wild pigs have not been too arduous. Now things just got even easier – in order to hunt wild pigs on private lands in Texas you officially no longer need to purchase a hunting license.
Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 317 into law on May 31, 2019, permitting any landowner, landowner’s agent or lessee to take wild pigs without a hunting license. There has been some confusion on this topic regarding the old regulations. Prior to the bill, wild pigs had to be actively depredating or causing damage, in order to be taken without a license by either a landowner or a designated landowner’s agent (Figure 1). While many would offer that wild pigs are always causing damage, or at least are about to do so, the new changes serve to remove doubt as to what is legal and what is not. Now, the legalities of proving depredation have been removed along with the requirement of proving one’s designation as a landowner’s agent. Also, simply leasing a property now qualifies an individual to take feral swine without a hunting license. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if you are a non-resident traveling to Texas to harvest wild pigs. No one needs to purchase a hunting license to hunt wild pigs on private lands. The only scenario where a hunting license is needed is when hunting on Texas public lands.
Any available incentive to encourage wild pig control is a good thing, but wild pigs remain among the most adaptable and reproductively successful animals on the planet. Just ask Canada, which is currently combating wild pig range expansion at approximately 55,000 square miles per year. While no longer needing a license may save Texans some money, it remains to be seen whether it will lead to any significant reduction in wild pig numbers statewide. The truth is that Texas landowners and their hunters already had generous laws (no season, no bag limit) that fostered population reduction. Even so, this change in law should encourage additional wild pig reduction.
The recent removal of license requirements for hunting wild pigs could also yield some additional benefits. First, reduced regulations for hunting wild pigs may benefit law enforcement. Texas game wardens can direct their time towards enforcing laws that protect native wildlife and game species instead of spending undue effort concentrating on an exotic livestock species. This action could also benefit the Texas hunting industry and related commerce by encouraging people from out of state who no longer have to pay non-resident license fees to harvest wild pigs. Keep in mind that in Texas wild pigs are not a game species, and for game animals, including deer, wild turkey, squirrels and others a hunting license is required.
It is important to understand that hunting alone will not reduce wild pig populations at the current harvest rate, and that a combined management approach utilizing well-sequenced control efforts is necessary to reduce populations (Caley and Ottley 1995; Schuyler et al. 2001; Muir and McEwen 2007; Toigo et. al 2008; Parkes et al. 2010). In fact, one study found that high hunting pressure can actually cause wild pigs to become reproductively receptive at younger ages and advance their gestational timeframe by as much as 12 days (Gamelon et al. 2011). Texas simply will not hunt its way out of the wild pig problem, whether a license is required or not. Effective wild pig abatement is already a difficult enough task, but the new law provides an incentive for Texans and out-of-state hunters to do their part in the fight against wild pigs.
(StatePoint) Whether you’re hoping to make your dog an Instagram sensation or you just want a nice portrait for the mantle, you’ve likely discovered pets, in general, can be elusive around cameras.
Check out these tips and tricks for getting your fur baby to sit for the camera and look picture perfect, from e-tailer Zulily, creative photographer, Taylor Graham:
• After choosing a great location for your shoot, give your pet a few minutes to get comfortable with the new setting.
• If you’re shooting outside, situate your pet in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can make your pet look greasy, and distracting shadows can obscure important features. A flat, overcast day makes for the most flattering pet photos.
• Get low to your pet’s level and frame the face tightly, focusing on eyes for maximum impact. Remember to photograph the most endearing parts of your pet. Often overlooked, paws and ears can be some of the most expressive and adorable features of your furry friend.
• Treats and squeaky toys are a given for getting pets to focus, but make sure you’re using them to your advantage. Hold the toy or treat as close to the lens as possible. This will get your pet’s gaze right where you want it to be. For capturing selfies, try the Sniff & Snap, a debut phone accessory which snaps onto the back of any mobile phone and features a slobber- and dishwasher-safe compartment for your pet’s favorite treat -- making it easier to attract a dog, cat or any pet’s attention through the power of smell long enough for totally Insta-worthy portraits. Available for only $7.99 on Zulily, the online retailer also invites pet parents to tag @zulily and share their #smelfie.
• Most cameras and camera phones have a “burst mode” that takes many pictures in a row. Later you can select the perfect frame.
• Don’t just pose your dog against a white wall. Add flair with accessories that fit your pet’s personality. For unique pet products at great prices, shop apps like Zulily. To celebrate the “dog days of summer” in August, the app launches two-month long sales (breaking from its traditional 72-hour sales) for pet parents that will help you capture lasting memories of your pooch. In addition to the Sniff & Snap phone accessory, are exclusive sets of day-in-the-life dog accessories curated in five distinct dog personality types, including: the Hiking Hound, the Pampered Pup, the Glamour Pooch, the Hipster Hound and the Dapper Dog. For only $29.99, these exclusive sets represent some of the best deals in retail, and include a special treat (from Bark Brew to Dog Champagne), stylish accessories (from bandanas to bowties), feeding must-haves (like zippered travel or millennial pink bowls), engaging toys (pineapples, avocados, hiking boots) and pampering products (from sunscreen to hydrating butter to cologne).
• With easy-to-use smartphone apps like VSCO and Photoshop: Express, you can adjust brightness, color and sharpness to bring a professional quality to images in seconds.
With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can take better pet snapshots, and what better way to celebrate the dog days of summer than by capturing some amazing memories of your furry friend?
The 10th Annual Michael D. Riley Memorial Golf Tournament benefiting The Salvation Army of Galveston County
The 10th Annual Michael D. Riley Memorial Golf Tournament benefitting The Salvation Army of Galveston County was presented by the Moody Foundation on July 12 at Moody Gardens Golf Course. The annual tournament honors the memory of beloved community member Michael D. Riley who served as President of Moody Gardens and Vice-President of Gal-Tex Hotel Corporation before his unexpected passing in 2009.
Despite the threat of tropical weather, the day turned out to be beautiful and the tournament went off without a hitch. Play was extremely competitive and ultimately the top three places were determined by a scorecard play-off. American National took First Place, closely followed by Greer Herz & Adams and the team of CenterPoint Energy. The beautiful afternoon of golf was made possible by Title sponsor Moody Foundation; Master Sponsors Moody Bank, Gilbane Construction, Moody Gardens and Moody Gardens Golf Course; Eagle Sponsor KenMor Electric; Birdie Sponsors Greer Herz & Adams, LLP, 1859 Historic Hotels, Valero Texas City Refinery, HomeTown Bank and Huitt-Zollars; Hole Sponsors Broome Welding, Forward Energy Group, LLC, Kelso Concrete Co., Mitchell Chuoke Plumbing, Inc., Landry’s Hospitality, Steve Harville- McGriff Insurance, Regent Care of League City, Siemens, GIA Insurance, Hill & Finkel, LLP, Galveston Restaurant Group and Stella Mare RV Resort. Classic Auto provided a 2019 Buick as a Hole-In-One prize.
John Zendt, President/CEO of Moody Gardens, led the players in a moment of reflection to honor the memory of Mike Riley before presenting the winning teams with trophies. The Salvation Army is grateful for the sponsors and players who gave of their time to support people in need in the local community. The Salvation Army of Galveston County works to prevent homelessness with emergency financial assistance and to lift people already experiencing homelessness out of that situation through an emergency shelter system which includes case management services. Other services include a food pantry, Christmas gift assistance, school supplies, youth activities and summer camps. Call (409) 763-1691 for more details.
A revocable living trust is an estate planning document that allows its trustee to actively control many properties and possessions during an entire lifetime. Both new and older possessions can be freely moved in and out of this trust and left to various beneficiaries. Once the trustee passes away, all the property still held by the trust can immediately pass to the beneficiaries and avoid incurring unnecessary probate fees.
Since real estate, business interests and personal possessions can be quite varied, it’s wise to discuss their individual characteristics with your lawyer before placing them in this type of trust. This especially holds true if you plan on buying and selling some of your possessions on a regular basis. In some cases, it may be easiest to allow a few less expensive properties to pass through probate when their value will help minimize any fees.
Here’s an overview of the type of personal possessions, real estate, business accounts and other items that you may want to place in your revocable living trust (RLT).
Types of property often placed in a revocable living trust
If you’re considering this move because you’re trying to protect the policy proceeds from having to go through probate, be aware that such proceeds automatically bypass probate and go straight to your named beneficiaries. However, if the only beneficiary of your policy may still be a child should you suddenly pass away, you may want to put the life insurance policy into your trust and name the living trust as the beneficiary. Your lawyer can then make sure that the trust names an adult to manage the proceeds of the life insurance policy for the specifically named child until s/he reaches adulthood.
How should 401(k), 403(b), IRA and qualified annuity accounts be handled?
You can create various tax problems for yourself by trying to transfer these into your LRT. Ask your lawyer if it would be better to just change the beneficiaries named for these accounts.
Should you place ownership of any vehicles in your trust?
If you use them regularly, this is often not practical. However, if you own one or more antique autos, you may want to talk with your attorney about whether it’s fully beneficial to hold title to them in your trust – or if there’s a better way to keep them out of the probate process.
Can oil and gas mineral rights be placed in a revocable living trust?
What you can do with these depends on the precise nature of the rights you hold. Ask your Houston business law attorney if you should create an assignment to these rights or try to formally obtain a new deed before transferring them into your revocable living trust.
Please contact us and allow one of our Murray Lobb attorneys to help you draw up any living revocable trusts you may need to help protect your personal property and possessions.
CATEGORIESLIVING TRUSTS, PLANNING, TEXAS LAW, TRUSTSTAGS#HOUSTONATTORNEYS, #KNOWLEDGEISPOWER, #MURRAY-LOBBATTORNEYS, #MURRAYLOBBATTORNEYS, #OWNERSHIP, #PROPERTY, #PROTECTYOURASSTES, #REVOCABLETRUSTS, #TEXAS, #TEXASLAW, #TEXASLAWYERS, #TRUSTS, HOUSTON
Whether you’re running a large corporation or a small business, it can be challenging to properly reply to employee requests for religious accommodations. However, if you’ll listen carefully to what’s being asked and thoughtfully weigh all your options, you should be able to respond appropriately. As the employer, it’s your duty to strike the proper balance between honoring a legitimate request and prioritizing the most crucial needs of your business.
Here’s a brief overview of the key topics involved with honoring religion rights in the workplace after receiving employee accommodation requests.
Employment discrimination based on religion is forbidden by law
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based solely on religion. Upon first learning about this statute, most employers ask how the term “religion” is defined — and exactly when they must fully abide by this law. Stated succinctly, employers should try to make reasonable accommodations based on religious beliefs (and practices) whenever doing so will not place an “undue burden” on their businesses.
How does the EEOC define “religion?”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides a very broad definition of “religion” that is not limited to just well-known faith groups such as Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus. The EEOC states that the employee’s beliefs can be new or uncommon – and separate from those espoused by any formal group or sect. The practice the employee wants to honor must be sincerely held and of a clear, religious nature – as opposed to a mere political, social or economic philosophy.
What are some of the most common types of requested religious accommodations?
How can employers determine if a request will cause an “undue hardship”?
After making sure you understand the specific nature of each request, you’ll have to decide if your business can still function smoothly if you grant the accommodation. Here are some questions you should be sure to ask yourself.
Unfortunately, there will always be a few biased supervisors or managers who may resent having to make any religious accommodations. Therefore, you must make sure that once any requests have been granted – the employees are not “punished” in any way.
For example, you cannot force all employees requesting permission to wear special religious clothing, hats or scarves to sit in a back office together where they’ll be less visible. That could be viewed as “retaliation” and make your company vulnerable to a lawsuit based on discrimination.
Be sure to treat every employee’s request for a religious accommodation with sincere respect. And always keep detailed notesin each employee’s file as to why you did or did not grant a request in case there are any later lawsuits. (For example, if you decide a request will prove to be too costly or place an “undue burden” on your business – make sure you can prove that with adequate facts and figures.)
Please feel free to contact one of our Murray Lobb attorneys with any questions you may have about making workplace accommodations based on religion (or disability). We can provide you with the legal guidance you’ll need to keep your business running smoothly.
CATEGORIESBUSINESS LAW, DISCRIMINATION, EXECUTIVES, GUIDELINES, RELIGIOUSTAGS#ACCOMODATIONS, #BUSINESSLAW, #DEFINING, #GUIDELINES, #HONORING, #HOUSTONLAWYERS, #KNOWLEDGEISPOWER, #MURRAY-LOBBATTORNEYS, #MURRAYLOBBATTORNEYS, #RELIGION, #RELIGIOUSACCOMODATIONS, #RELIGIOUSREQUESTS, #TEXAS, #TEXASLAW, #WORKPLACERETALIATION
The Moore Memorial Public Library’s Fall 2019 renovation will officially begin on Saturday, August 3rd at 4 PM. Here is a breakdown of what will happen and how this will affect patrons and library staff.
The library will close for a few months so the renovation can be done in a timely manner. Changes will include new furniture, two small group and two private study rooms, and six family-style restrooms, which will affect the plumbing and facilities offered to the public and staff. Contractors will work to double the building’s electrical capacity, enabling the library to provide more outlets.
Before then, library cardholders can renew books until Saturday, July 13th. After July 13th, check out periods will be reduced to 1 – 2 weeks without any renewals. Saturday, July 27th will be the last day to borrow books, audiobooks, and TV DVDs. The last day to borrow regular DVDs will be Wednesday, July 31st. All physical items will be due Saturday, August 3rd at 4 PM. If patrons need to drop off items after the deadline, items can be placed in the book drop. However, the August deadline will not affect our digital collection. The library’s eBooks and eAudiobooks can be accessed by cardholders that download the Libby App for Android, Apple, or Microsoft devices. Information on how to access Libby can be picked up at the library until its closure.
During the renovation, staff members will work off-site on various projects. New books will be purchased for processing into the library catalog. Staff members will gain more professional experience through additional training and continuing education classes. And digitization projects for the library’s archival holdings will begin.
There are multiple ways patrons can keep in touch during the renovation process. Bookmark the library’s website (www.texascity-library.org) for updates on children’s programs and pop-up appearances we may make throughout the city. Or follow the library’s Facebook page (@moorepubliclibrary) and our Instagram (@mmpltxc) for ongoing updates. Our staff can still be contacted for general inquiries and reference questions. We can be reached at (409) 643-5977 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.