Harrell, Stoebner & Russell, P.C.
Now in Temple
and Killeen

Temple, Texas, General Practice Blog

What will you do with your vacation home?

Having a vacation home is something many Texas families dream of obtaining, but few are fortunate enough to make it a reality. If you and your spouse have such a home, you likely worked hard to deserve it and spent many years loving and maintaining it.

Whether your vacation home is on the beach, in the mountains or in some location uniquely special to you, you probably have many wonderful memories of time spent there with your children. However, now that you are beginning to consider your future, have you weighed your options for the fate of your beloved vacation home?

Don't step out of bounds when facing a boundary line dispute

Knowing and understanding where boundary lines lie can make a dramatic difference in your relationship with your neighbor. Whether you have owned your Texas property for years or you are considering making a purchase, you would be wise to know about the property lines that determine where your property begins and your neighbor's property ends.

Navigating boundary line disputes can be quite complex, and it is never easy to come to a resolution when there are hard feelings between you and your neighbor. If you are facing a dispute with your neighbor, a property developer or other individual or party over boundary lines, you would be wise to seek legal guidance as you work toward a beneficial solution.

If you aren't wealthy, do you really need a prenuptial agreement?

Engaged couples spend a lot of time looking ahead — to their wedding days, their lives together and beyond. While they may spend a lot of time thinking about the future, they may also think about protecting their financial interests in the future as well. One of the ways to do this is by drafting a prenuptial agreement.

People often associate a prenuptial agreement with the wealthy, but they are not the only ones who could benefit from this type of protection. Of course, prenuptial agreements are useful for individuals with significant wealth and assets to protect, but they can also protect the interests of people who simply want to have proper preparations in place in case of an unexpected outcome.

New Texas law bans texting while driving

Effective September 1, 2017, it will be illegal to simultaneously text and drive in the Lone Star State. "But I thought that was already illegal!" you may be thinking. While many cities in Texas passed local laws in the past banning texting and driving, there has previously been no statewide law banning the practice. Additionally, the legislature has twice attempted to pass similar bills in the past, but one was vetoed by then-governor Perry and the other was stalled by the Senate Transportation Committee. Prior to the new bill's effective date, Texas had the following statewide restrictions in place:

Is a home inspection really necessary?

When you found the perfect house and made an offer, you probably received a list of steps you can expect to occur. For example, your lender will send an appraiser to verify the value of the home. You will meet with your lender to solidify your financing. The lender will also require some proof of homeowners' insurance. Of course, you will schedule an inspection of the house.

Planning to skip that step? Think you might save a little money? Unfortunately, the opposite may be true. Skipping the home inspection has been the regret of many homebuyers who ended up with money pits.

The advantages of a prenuptial agreement

You have finally found the right one. Perhaps it was only a short time after that first date that you knew you wanted to be together for the rest of your lives. Now you are making plans to marry, and that can be an intense process. There is so much to do — the dress, the cake, the reception, the honeymoon, the prenuptial agreement.

If the last item on this list is not on your list, you may want to consider why. Did you know that if you and your future spouse don't draft your own prenuptial agreement, the state of Texas has one ready for you?

What does it take to win a wrongful death lawsuit?

If you lost a loved one in an accident that was the result of another person's negligence or purposeful intent to harm, according to the laws of Texas you may have legal recourse. A wrongful death lawsuit, if successfully litigated, can result in you receiving a monetary judgment for any of your documented losses.

Living with the pain of losing a child, parent, spouse, partner or other loved one in such a tragic and untimely way can be absolutely devastating. Revisiting the tragedy by pursing a lawsuit can be a challenge. Before going down that road, you may want to make sure your case possesses all the required elements for successful litigation.

When seeking guardianship of mom or dad is appropriate

For most people, watching parents age can be difficult. Physical and/or mental health issues may set in that make it challenging and sometimes even impossible for them to care for themselves adequately. If you have a parent who has become incapacitated in some way, according to Texas laws, you can seek guardianship so that you may be awarded the legal right to make necessary decisions for him or her.

When is seeking a guardianship appropriate? What are the responsibilities that come with this role?

Is a spousal support order modifiable?

If, during your marriage, you have been dependent on your spouse financially, getting a divorce and having to figure out how to provide for yourself can be a scary thing. Thankfully, Texas laws allow the awarding of spousal support under the right circumstances. This is a great benefit for those who need financial assistance as they transition from married to single life.

Spousal support, also called alimony or spousal maintenance, is something you can request as part of your divorce settlement. If awarded, it is usually only paid out for a certain period of time. The spousal support order notes the duration of payments and the amount ordered. What happens, though, if you have a change in circumstances and need either more support or an extension on the duration schedule? Can you modify an alimony order?