PRACTICE AREAS

WILLS AND PROBATE

If you desire to leave your estate to your children, certain people or an organization, a will is necessary to bring about your goals. Even if you have no children or are unmarried, a properly drafted will is able to allocate your property according to your wishes without having the State dictate how your estate will be divided. Without a will, your property is distributed based upon a descent and distribution method adopted by the State. In the event you leave no will, and no heirs or your heirs are not able to be located; all that you own and your property will go to the State.

By having a valid will in place at your death, you will be able to designate who gets your property, along with other wishes like guardianship for minor children or final disposition of your remains. With a properly drawn will you are allowed to designate who will administer your estate. Texas law allows a testator to designate an “independent executor” who will Administer your estate and who will be independent of most court oversight. A benefit of having a will in Texas (that is properly prepared) is being able to attach to the will a “self-proving affidavit.” This document allows your executor to admit your will to probate without having to find the witnesses to the will and have them testify in court. A properly prepared will assures that expenses and time to go through probate are kept to a minimum.

ESTATE PLANNING

There is no substitute for the advice of an attorney who will assure all legal documents are drafted to your specific needs and in accordance with the statutory laws of Texas. When you hire Wallace Bowman he will assure a comprehensive estate plan is put into effect. Estate planning involves more then creating a will it also assures a plan in the event of incapacity.

A will governs how your property is to be distributed after your death, advance directives allows a designated agent to handle your personal, business and legal affairs while you are still living, but not able to handle them yourself. Powers of Attorney are useful when you are incapacitated, like being unable to speak or communicate effectively with medical professionals or not able to travel to take care of business. By designating an agent to act on your behalf, you have effectively reduced the chance of not being able to handle your personal affairs.

Estate Planning Documents

Some of the estate planning documents you should consider having drafted are: Directive to Physician and Family or Surrogate; Statutory Durable Power of Attorney; Medical Power of Attorney; Declaration of Guardian; HIPAA Release/Authorization; and Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR). The benefit of these types of directives is that questions about what to do in the event of your incapacity are answered ahead of time leaving no guesswork for family or friends as to what you actually want.

BUSINESS LITIGATION

Sometimes business disputes occur, and when disputes can't be resolved through negotiation or arbitration proceedings, business litigation can be used as a way to remedy the situation. Whether it's a private individual or a business entity that has a legal issue with another business entity, this usually falls into the category of business litigation.

Any infringement on a patent, trademark or copyright is grounds for business litigation.

Breach of fiduciary duty between business partners or shareholders in closely held corporations can also lead to litigation. If one partner violates his obligation to operate in good faith and loyalty then the other partners can recover with business litigation.

If an insurance company undervalues or denies a fair claim, then a lawsuit could be filed to attempt to recover the amount that is rightfully owed by the insurance company to the insured person or to the insured business. Insurance companies sometimes attempt to avoid fully paying a legitimate claim, or even avoid paying it at all, by using confusing or deceptive wording in the contract. There are a variety of instances when a business may have a need for business litigation to resolve a dispute against another business.

When business disputes occur between a business and an individual or between two business entities, Mr. Bowman attempts resolution without resorting to business litigation. If resolution or mediation will not resolve your matter then Mr. Bowman can be invaluable in protecting your legal rights and your company's business interests. Should a lawsuit develop Mr. Bowman will use his trial experience to diligently represent your interests.

OIL AND GAS

Oil and gas law in the United States is the branch of law that pertains to the acquisition and ownership rights in oil and gas both under the soil before discovery and after its capture, and adjudication regarding those rights.

In the United States, oil and gas rights of a parcel of land may be owned by private individuals, corporations, Indian tribes, or by local, state, or federal governments. Oil and gas rights extend vertically downward from the property line. Land Deeds will specify whether oil and gas rights are owned by the surface landowner. Once Oil and Gas rights have been severed from surface ownership, oil and gas rights may be bought, sold, or transferred, like other real estate property. Although oil and gas laws vary in other states from Texas, the laws regarding ownership prior to, at, and after extraction are nearly universal. An owner of real estate also owns the minerals underneath the surface, unless the minerals are severed under a previous land deed or an agreement.

Unless mineral rights are severed, whoever owns the soil owns everything below the surface, limited by the extent of the surface rights. Because oil and gas are fluids, they may flow in the subsurface across property boundaries. As a result, an operator may permissibly extract oil and gas from beneath the land of an adjoining landowner only if the operator has a lease or contract with the adjoining landowner that allows the operator to extract the oil and gas from underneath the land of the adjoining landowner. This type of arrangement is generally referred to as a pooling agreement.

This rule of capture gives land owners an incentive to pump out oil as quickly as possible to capture the oil of their neighbors. The Texas Railroad Commission regulates the extraction of oil and gas by individual owners and by oil and gas operators within the State of Texas.

Contact Mr. Bowman with all you legal questions regarding an Oil or Gas lease, contract, or payments.

PERSONAL INJURY

Personal injury law refers to a type of tort lawsuit that alleges that the damages were caused by the negligence of another.The most common types of personal injury claims are road traffic accidents, accidents at work, tripping accidents, assault claims, accidents in the home, product defect accidents (product liability) and holiday accidents. Personal injury also incorporates medical and dental accidents (which lead to numerous medical negligence claims every year) and conditions that are often classified as industrial disease cases. If the negligence of another party can be proved, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation from that party. Often times, having an attorney becomes essential because cases become extremely complex, such as in medical malpractice cases.

Personal Injury cases are under a strict limitations deadline. You can loose your legal right to recovery if not timely filed. Talk to Mr. Bowman today to discuss your legal rights of recovery for your injuries.

REAL ESTATE LAW

Real Estate law generally involves the passage of title to a piece of real estate from one person to another. A typical real estate transaction will involve a contract to sell the real estate; then the subsequent preparation of a deed to actually transfer title to the new owner.
However, there are many other aspects of real estate law, such as mechanic's lien, easements for pipelines and utilities and boundary line disputes. Sometimes there may be a dispute regarding whether or not a deed was properly drafted so as to be effective to convey title to the property in question. Or there may be a question regarding whether or not the deed contained a proper legal description of the real estate that was being conveyed.
Real estate law is also implicated when dealing with the subject of the production of minerals from below the surface of the ground.
Real Estate law can also take the form of residential and commercial leases, as well as enforcement of those leases if the tenant violates the terms of the rental lease. A violation of a lease may be in the form of an improper use of the property or failure to pay rent.
Also, Homeowners Associations generally have rules and regulations about certain restrictions placed on the use of homes that are within the neighborhood covered by the Homeowners Associations.
As with all other areas of the law, the advice of an attorney early on in the process can help someone involved in a real estate transaction avoid many potential pitfalls.
Mr. Bowman has over 45 years of experience in helping his clients with a wide variety of real estate transactions.

ELDER LAW

Elder law matters handled by an experienced attorney will save you and your loved ones a lot of expenses, grief and legal hassles. Mr. Bowman’s experience includes:

  • Disability planning, including creation of durable powers of attorney, living trusts, living wills, advanced directives and other means of delegating management and decision-making in the event of incompetency or incapacity. Designation of Conservatorship and Guardianship.

  • Estate planning, during the period of life and disposition upon death through the use of trusts, wills and other planning documents.

  • A complete plan for Preservation and transfer of assets to avoid spousal impoverishment when one spouse enters a nursing home.

  • Medicaid planning,

  • Medicare claims and appeals,

  • Social Security Disability claims and appeals,

  • Supplemental and long term health insurance issues,

  • Probate matters,

  • Administration and management of trusts and estate,

  • Long-term care placements, nursing home and life care communities.

  • Nursing home issues including questions of patients' rights and nursing home quality.

  • Housing issues, including discrimination and home equity conversions.

  • Health law matters.

  • Mental Health law matters.

In addition, many of the entitlements, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and "health care reform," are being decided at the federal level. Mr. Bowman ensures the most current law and entitlements are reflective in his Elder Law practice.