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Newsletter from Winn, Beaudry & Winn, Attorneys at Law
Issue 18
September, 2016  
Ward Beaudry
G. Ward Beaudry
Estate Plans Are for EVERYONE
I have a medley of estate planning topics in this edition, plus some comments on caring for disabled adult children and preparing trusts for care of your pets.  Help is just a phone call away and I'm always happy to talk. NOTE FOR SENIORS: check the item on senior discounts in the right column.


Involved in a Family-Owned Businesses? Act Now If Ownership Transfer Is In Your Future
   Tax code changes have been anticipated for some time (I've written about them before in this newsletter), but the IRS announced the proposed rules in early August.
   If enacted as written, the regulations would mean increased estate taxes on the death of owners of family businesses, possibly causing them to liquidate the business or sell big pieces to outsiders. A key tenet of the proposed new rules deals with the practice of discounting the value of a minority interest in a business that is transferred to a family member. The theory behind the discount is that a minority interest has less value to a potential buyer than a majority interest because the minority interest would not include any managerial rights. Tax Bag
   There will be a 90-day comment period. Hearings are scheduled for Dec. 1. Final regulations could come out by year-end. The Family Business Coalition plans to fight the change.
   In the meantime, the safe bet is to make the transfers now under the existing regulations.

Estate Planning Is for Everyone 
   No matter what you own, an estate plan is an essential. It will allow your family to mourn your passing in peace, with difficult decisions made in advance when there will likely be less emotion involved than at your death.
   Dying "intestate" (without a will) will leave your family sorting through a mess. It will be up to a probate judge to divide your assets, which can be contrary to what you would desire. Failure to act can potentially disinherit your spouse or children. The probate process can be expensive without a will. Texas has a wonderful probate process, free of court control, but a proper will is required to take advantage of it.
   There are other ways to transfer wealth upon death, including joint tenancies, pay-on-death designations, trusts, life insurance contracts and designations in pension and retirement plans. Check out this great article on creating an estate planning checklist. I would add two caveats - start now and remember to do regular reviews because the laws change.

Willing Mineral Interests: It's Common, But Tricky
Oil Well    One of the most common problems is with old mineral interests in cases where the older interests have not been distributed properly upon the death of previous owners. It can be very technical and this is an area in which it is unwise to venture without experienced legal counsel.

Think Twice on the Choice of An Executor 
   This is advice for both the person for whom the will is drafted, and for the person asked to be the Executor. Choose carefully, as the first choice that pops into your mind might not be the person best-suited to handle your wishes upon your death. If you are asked to be an Executor, consider it an honor, but also know that it is a big responsibility, probably will require significant work and has the potential for significant liability.
   First, confirm with a probate attorney what your responsibilities will be before accepting the post. When it is time to act on your duties, don't dawdle. Rather, move forward steadily, but avoid skipping steps. Establish a timeline and checklist to insure nothing is left out. Finally, communicate and maintain regular contact with the beneficiaries to avoid any misunderstandings.

   I'm always ready to take your call or respond to your email about this and other issues related to your family life.
 (888) 330-1467 or (214) 969-0001

Using Trusts to Care for Pets

   Pets become important members of our families. Diana and I have Bonnie, a 15-year-old rag doll pussycat, and Riley, a big golden, and Rufus, a 4-year-old St. Bernard. 
   They all play important roles in our family and I'm confident many readers feel the same about their pets.
  It is becoming more common to set up a Pet Trust to provide for your
Photo of Rufus
Rufus - Our St. Bernard
pets after the owner's passing. We are seeing some of these trusts challenged as heirs want estate assets to go to themselves. You can minimize the potential for these challenges by complying with your state's laws.
   We also recommend that the value of your trust not exceed a reasonable value for its intended use. Since pets are considered property in the U.S., you must leave them funds in a trust rather than in your other estate planning documents (primarily a will). Here is an article highlighting some of the potential obstacles to avoid.

             Competent assistance with this option is just a phone call or email away. 

(888) 330-1467 or (214) 969-0001
Providing for the Future of Disabled Adult Children

   I am privileged to serve in the courts in Dallas, Collin and Tarrant counties as an attorney representing minors and adults with disabilities. As an officer of the court, I advocate for the individual client, whether or not he or she is capable of making decisions about their future or their day-to-day living.
   I also represent parents and siblings of disabled folks attempting to provide for their family member, The planning that goes into each representation requires a significant degree of sophistication as well as sensitivity, patience, and a knowledge of community resources.
   I recently was alerted to a very helpful article by Jennifer M. Kirby- McLemore entitled "What are Aging Parents Caring for Adult Children with Disabilities to Do?: A comprehensive Framework for a Healthy, Stable, Financially Sound Future."
   The article introduces the importance of proper planning for adult children with disabilities and lists the key elements for every future care plan. The article outlines hypothetical plans for parents who are financially limited, for middle class families and for well-to-do families.
   You can find the article here and I sincerely recommend it to anyone involved in the planning process for a disabled family member, as well as for a family assuming that responsibility.

             Call me or email if you want to discuss this issue.

(888) 330-1467 or (214) 969-0001
G. Ward Beaudry, Esq.   
      View my profile on LinkedIn                                                


4200 Thanksgiving Tower
1601 Elm Street
Dallas, Texas 75201-7203

Telephone: 214-969-0001

This E-letter is intended to stimulate thought and discussion, and to provide you with some useful ideas and guidance in the areas of estate planning and business law. The materials and comments made herein do not constitute and should not be treated as legal advice regarding the use of any particular estate or business planning or other technique, device or suggestion or any of the tax or other consequences associated with them. Although we have made every effort to ensure the accurancy of this information, Winn, Beaudry & Winn does not assume any responsibility for any individual's reliance on the information presented in this document. Each reader should verify independently all statements made in this E-letter before applying them to a particular situation and should determine independently the tax and other consequences of using any particular device, technique or suggestion before recommending it to others. 


The information contained in this electronic message is legally privileged and confidential under applicable law and the information may be protected from disclosure under the Attorney-Client Privilege and/or the Attorney Work Product Privilege. This electronic message is intended only for the use of the individual(s) or entity named above. If the recipient of this message is not the above-named intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, copy or disclosure of this communication is strictly prohibited and may carry criminal and/or civil penalties and civil liabilities for unauthorized disclosure, dissemination or copying. If you have received this communication in error, please notify Winn, Beaudry & Winn at (214) 969-0001 and purge the communication immediately from your computer system without making any copy or distribution.

Treasury Circular 230 Required Statements:


Tax practitioners authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service are subject to the requirements of "Circular 230" (31 CFR part 10), as published by the Treasury Department.  The Treasury Department has made significant changes to Circular 230, effective June 20, 2005, that affect the form and content of tax advice that we provide. In order to comply with these new changes, while minimizing the cost to our clients, we are including the following statements in all of our e-mail communications.  If you have any question about the statements, please do not hesitate to contact the sender.

1. Any tax advice contained in this e-mail (including any attachments) was not intended or written by the sender of this e-mail to be used, and cannot be used by the recipient or any other person, for the purpose of avoiding any Internal Revenue Code penalties that may be imposed on such person. 

2. Any tax advice contained in this e-mail (including any attachments) was not intended or written by the sender of this e-mail to be used or referred to, and cannot be used or referred to, in promoting, marketing, or recommending the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed herein.

In This Issue



Senior Discounts Honored


Over many years, we have received frequent referrals from AARP members via the organization's legal services discount program for seniors. The AARP has chosen to abandon this program, but Winn, Beaudry & Winn will continue to offer a 20 percent reduction off our normal hourly rates for those 65 and older.  Please contact us for details. 


 Ward was honored again in 2016 as an AV Preeminent, Top-Rated Lawyer and will be featured as such in Texas Lawyer Magazine.

Super Lawyer
Fellow-American Bar Foundation  
Among G. Ward Beaudry's qualifications

- Accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
 - Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
 - Member, College of the State Bar of Texas 




Thanksgiving Tower 
Thanksgiving Tower