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Serving Individuals & Businesses Throughout East Texas Since 1994
Call Us Today!
(903) 757-3992
Call Us Today!
(903) 757-3992

Contact Information


Andrew G. Khoury, P.C.
2002 Judson Road Suite 204
Longview, TX 75601
Phone: (903) 757-3992
P.O. Box 1151,
Longview, TX 75606
Business Hours:
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
After hours and weekends by appointment

In Business Since 1994


FAQS

Q: WHAT IS A WILL?

A: A document by which a person directs his or her estate to be distributed upon death.

Q: WHAT IS A CODICIL?

A: A supplement or addition to a will, not necessarily disposing of the entire estate but modifying, explaining or otherwise qualifying the Will in some way. When admitted to probate, the codicil becomes a part of the Will.

Q: DO I NEED A WILL?

A: Unless you are content with allowing state law to determine whom among your relatives will inherit your estate, you need a testamentary plan. Even if you are content, the cost of administering an estate without a Will is substantially more than probating a Will.

Q: WHY CAN’T I JUST BUY A COMPUTER PROGRAM OR ORDER A FORM ONLINE?

 A: You can. But aside from the axiom, "You get what you pay for," the simple truth is that most computer software programs are not Texas specific. Texas is one of only nine "Community Property" states and even among those, Texas is unique in the development of its laws regarding marital property and probate matters. In other words, Texas law has many unique aspects that are not adequately addressed by generic products intended for use in multiple states. In addition, there are certain requirements that must be followed when actually executing the Will that, if not followed, could ultimately prevent the Will from being admitted to probate, regardless of whether anyone challenges the Will.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WILL AND A TRUST AND WHICH WOULD I NEED?

A: A Will is a written declaration of a person's intended disposition of property after death. A Trust is a fiduciary relationship with respect to property in which one person (the trustee) holds and manages property for the benefit of a person (the beneficiary). Each method has advantages and disadvantages and can be used as a stand-alone tool or as part of an integrated testamentary plan. Whether you choose one, the other or utilize both, is a fact-specific matter that is best addressed during the course of a personal conference with one of our estate planning attorneys. Regardless of whether a Trust is used, it is always advisable to have a Will for a complete estate plan.

Q: WHEN SHOULD A WILL BE REVIEWED?

  • You get married or divorced
  • You move to another state
  • The person named in your Will as Personal Representative has died
  • A person named in your Will to receive property has died
  • You change your mind about the provisions in your Will

Q: WHAT IS A LIVING WILL?

A: An instrument, signed with certain formalities, by which a person states the intention to refuse medical treatment and to release healthcare providers from all liability if the person becomes both terminally ill and unable to communicate such a refusal. A Living Will is not filed in Probate, copies are usually provided to the physician and hospital.

Q: WHERE SHOULD I KEEP MY WILL?

A: You should keep the original Will document in a safe place where it will be easy to find after you die. It is a good idea to tell someone where to find your important papers in the event of your death. It is not a good idea to make copies of your will. 
Some helpful suggestions: 
  • Keep in a fireproof safe at home or 
  • Place in SAFEKEEPING at the County Clerk's Probate Office. There is a one time fee for this service. The Will remains secured in a vault until you claim the document or until an authorized person claims it upon your death in order to probate the Will. 
  • Place in a SAFE DEPOSIT BOX at a financial institution. When putting your will in a safe deposit box you need to list additional persons that you would like to access your safe deposit box to withdraw your Will for the purpose of distribution of your estate. A Motion and Court Order is required for the will to be removed from the safe deposit box.

Q: WHAT DOES THE TERM TESTATOR MEAN?

A: TESTATOR is a person who dies leaving a Will.

Q: WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN IT SAYS SOMEONE DIED INTESTATE?

A: INTESTATE is one who has died without a valid will.

Q: WHAT DOES THE TERM PROBATE MEAN?

A: PROBATE is a process of distributing someone's property after his or her death. It provides an orderly way to transfer real and personal property. The probate process may be used whether someone has left a will or not.

Q: WHAT DOES THE TERM DISTRIBUTEE MEAN?

A: A DISTRIBUTEE is a beneficiary entitled to payment. An heir is one who obtains personal property from the estate of an intestate decedent.

Q: DO I NEED A POWER OF ATTORNEY OR “LIVING WILL”?

A: We generally recommend that our clients consider signing both types of documents. More specifically, during our initial consultation we discuss with the client advantages of having a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney, a Medical Power of Attorney and a Directive to Physician (Living Will). A Directive to Physician or "Living Will," is a written statement made in advance by the client that instructs treating physicians and health care workers to refrain from keeping the client/patient on life support under certain specified circumstances. 
These are all documents that can be specifically tailored to the needs of the individual and our attorneys work closely with our clients to ensure that the documents address all of the client's concerns and questions.

Q: WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

A: A Power of Attorney is a written document by which a person legally delegates to someone else a part or all of his/her authority to make legal decisions on certain matters on a short or long-term basis. (A Power of Attorney can not be used in Probate according to Texas Probate Code § 485; a Power of Attorney terminates after death.) Generally, there are two types of Powers of Attorney: (1) financial and (2) medical. A financial Power of Attorney grants the client's named agent (usually a spouse or close relative) with broad authority to make decisions on behalf of the client during a period of incapacitation; a medical Power of Attorney serves a similar function but is limited to making only medical decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.

Q: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A GUARDIANSHIP? 

A: A court may appoint a guardian with full authority over an incapacitated person or may grant a guardian limited authority over an incapacitated person as indicated by the incapacitated person's actual mental or physical limitations and only as necessary to promote and protect the well being of the person. If the person is not a minor, the court may not use age as the sole factor in determining whether to appoint a guardian for the person. In creating a guardianship that gives a guardian limited power or authority over an incapacitated person, the court shall design the guardianship to encourage development or maintenance of maximum self-reliance and independence in the incapacitated person.

Q: WHAT IS A GUARDIAN?

Q: WHAT IS A GUARDIAN?
One who has the legal authority and duty to care for another's person or property, because of the other's infancy, incapacity or disability. A guardian may be appointed either for all purposes or for specific purposes. 

Q: WHAT IS A GUARDIAN AD LITEM? 

A: A guardian, usually a lawyer, appointed by the court to appear in a lawsuit on behalf of an incompetent or minor party.

Q: WHAT IS AN INCAPACITATED PERSON? 

A: A person who is impaired by an intoxicant, by mental illness or deficiency or by physical illness or disability.

Q: CAN A GUARDIAN BE APPOINTED TO HANDLE THE ESTATE AND PERSON? 

A: Yes.

Q: WHEN WOULD A SUCCESSOR GUARDIAN NEED TO BE APPOINTED? 

A: If a guardian dies, resigns or is removed, the court may, on application and on service of notice as directed by the court, appoint a Successor Guardian. A Successor Guardian has the powers and rights and is subject to all of the duties of the preceding guardian.

Q: I AM GETTING DIVORCED. IS THERE SOMETHING I NEED TO DO WITH MY ESTATE PLAN? 

A: It always is a good idea to review your estate plan anytime you have a significant change in your family circumstances, including divorce. Texas law automatically nullifies a bequest to your former spouse in a Will, if the Will was made before the divorce, so that the property subject to the Will would be distributed as though the former spouse had predeceased you. You might need to change other things, however, such as the trustee of any trust created for your children, the guardian of your minor children and the beneficiary of life insurance, retirement plans or bank accounts. Also, you may want to leave your property to someone other than the person who stands to take it under your current Will, once you are divorced.

Q: WHAT DOES A BASIC ESTATE PLAN INCLUDE? 

A: Our basic testamentary plan includes the preparation and execution of the following documents: 
  • Will with an optional contingent trust for minor children
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Directive to Physician (Living Will)
  • Other documents may be advisable after more detailed discussions with the client during the initial consultation. 

Q: DO I NEED SEPARATE TAX ADVICE? 

A: Under current federal law, there is a limit to the dollar value that a person can convey to a non spouse upon death without triggering a taxable event. The limit changes on a regular basis. Therefore, our firm always recommends that a client obtain competent tax advice before making any significant decisions involving a testamentary plan. We will work closely with our clients' tax consultants to ensure that the legal advice our firm provides harmonizes with the tax advice received from our clients' tax specialists. 

Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

A: Once the client has engaged our firm to complete the agreed upon plan our goal is to provide the client with the completed drafts within seven (7) business days. Upon approval of the documents from the client, we will coordinate the finalizing and execution of all documents.

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