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About the Frye, Oaks, Benavidez & O'Neil, PLLC Information Headquarters:

Frye, Oaks, Benavidez & O'Neil, PLLC has a boutique estate planning practice serving the GLBTI community’s unique needs Post-Obergefell and assisting their allies in the broader Texas community as well with family wealth preservation and transfer during life and at death. We work with all individuals and families of all sorts of backgrounds since we know how important it is that we provide for the beloved family, friends, and/or charitable entities we will leave behind.


  • The Frye, Oaks, Benavidez & O'Neil, PLLC Information Headquarters is not legal advice.
  • The Information Headquarters is not a suitable alternative to specific, tailored legal advice from a licensed Texas attorney that is based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case.
  • The Information Headquarters should not be relied upon by any prudent person at any point in time under any circumstances to attempt to ascertain or determine any legal obligation, rights, duties, or other responsibilities.
  • You reading the Information Headquarters does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege.
  • The Information Headquarters is not an exhaustive resource on the totality of Texas law, trust law, federal law, and the various tax laws; only a few selected topics are covered as part of a broader, general discussion.
  • The Information Headquarters is solely prepared as a general educational resource for entertainment purposes and should not be relied upon by any prudent person at any time under any circumstances.
  • The Information Headquarters may not be used to attempt to evade or defeat any of the tax laws.
  • Please reference this publication explicitly if you quote from any of the content in any commercial, nonprofit, academic, or other context.

Original publish date of 11 January 2016

Prepared by Daniel L. O’Neil, Partner

Schedule an appointment with me to discuss your specific estate planning needs at 713.227.1717

Our other lawyers at the firm handle Family Law, Social Security Disability, Criminal Defense, Guardianship, Transgender (adults and minors) legal name and gender changes, Employment discrimination law for individuals, as well as Employee planning and advice for businesses.

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Welcome to the Frye, Oaks, Benavidez & O'Neil, PLLC Information Headquarters!

This is the main table of contents for the Information Headquarters.


v  Article I introduces the basic concepts of Estate Planning.


Article I: Estate Planning, Generally


Listing of topics:

Easy mode

§000:So, what is Estate Planning exactly?

§001:The peace of mind an estate plan brings

§002: What happens without a valid Will (About Intestacy)

§003: Who needs a Will?

§004: What type of Texan especially needs a Will?

§005: Documenting your capacity

§006: A note on lawyers

§007: Types of Wills explained

§008: Nuts and bolts of Wills

§009: Why have a Will?

§010: The nature of your assets

§011: Where should your assets go?

§012: The Estate Planning “Package”

§013: Introducing trusts

§014: Introducing Fiduciaries

§015: Who do you trust?

§016: About the disability planning documents

§017: About guardianship

§018: Vocabulary

§019: Your relationship with a family lawyer rather than just a scrivener

§020: Transition from the Probate Code to the Estates Code

§021: A final word on the basic importance of Estate Planning

Hard mode

§022: Annual review of Estate Plan

§023: Your digital life

§024: Myths of Estate Planning

§025: Frequently Asked Questions of Estate Planning

Legendary mode

§026: Ethical issues for your Estate Planning lawyer

v  Article II stresses the importance of Marital Property Characterization for your assets.


Article II: Marital Property Characterization & Yoü


Listing of topics:

Easy mode

§027: So, what is a character anyhow?

§028: The interplay of SP and CP

§029: Partition and Exchange

§030: Gifts between spouses

§031: Gifts to strangers of the marriage

§032: Sole management over community funds

§033: Will contracts between spouses

§034: There is no legal “separation” in Texas

§035: Marital torts

§036: Tax returns are not valid marital property agreements

§037: Good faith and fair dealing in marital property agreements

§038: Just and right division

§039: Characterization issues on appeal

Hard mode

§040: Are you really married?

§041: Judge & Jury

§042: Large assets

§043: Divorce lawyers

§044: Texas divorce basics

§045: Discovery

§046: Nonreimbursable claims

§047: Reimbursement claims

§048: Offsets to reimbursement claims

§049: Beginning balance

§050: Commingling

§051: Tracing

Legendary mode

§052: Divorce tax

§053: Mediation for GLBTI family law

§054: False allegations of abuse

§055: But a special note on real family violence

v  Article III addresses planned transfers, trusts, and the taxes associated with Estate Planning.

Article III: Planned Transfers

Listing of topics:

Easy mode

§056: Nonprobate assets

§057: Probate assets

§058: Probate avoidance

§059: Coordination of probate and nonprobate

§060: The basic gifting strategies

§061: Charitable bequest administration

Hard mode

§062: Disclaimer

§063: Power of appointment

§064: Crummey

§065: Income tax considerations

§066: Estate tax

§067: Gift tax

§068: GST tax

Legendary mode

§069: Tax planned trusts

§070: Zeroed out trusts

§071: Supplemental Needs Trust

§072: Other trust scenarios for minors, incapacitated people, and elders

v  Article IV then discusses litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and criminal issues encountered in Estate Planning.

Article IV: To Probate Court and Beyond

Listing of topics:

Easy mode

§073: 30,000 foot overview of the probate process

§074: Heirship proceeding

§075: Small estate affidavit

§076: Muniment of title

§077: Local Rules

§078: Creditors in probate

§079: Independent or Dependent administration

§080: When someone important passes away …

§081: Application

§082: Not eligible to serve as Executor

Hard mode

§083: Litigation

§084: Mediation

Legendary mode

§085: The Unauthorized Practice of Law (“UPL”) in the State of Texas

§086: Elder financial abuse

§087: State criminal prosecution

§088: Federal criminal prosecution

§089: Tax crimes