Estate planning matters should only be handled with the assistance of an experienced Texas estate planning lawyer who truly cares about you and your family’s needs. Contact Harrell & Paulson, LLP today to learn more about estate planning in Texas and how we can guide you through each phase of the process ahead.
Estate Planning Lawyer Serving Clients in Texas
Here at Harrell & Paulson, LLP, we handle a wide array of estate planning services on behalf of our clients, including the following:
- Wills: Wills are probably the most popular estate planning document. Creating a will is paramount to having a comprehensive estate plan, and it is where you can detail what will happen to your assets upon your passing, establish beneficiaries, an executor, and, potentially, guardians.
- Trusts: Trusts are estate planning documents that serve a wide array of functions, though they primarily exist to assist those who create them and their families with financial matters, such as saving on taxes when an estate goes through probate.
- Probate: Probate is the process by which an estate is settled. If you are the executor of an estate, it is your job to ensure you meet each probate qualification, such as paying off the decedent’s debts, distributing assets accordingly, and more.
- Powers of Attorney: Powers of attorney are fantastic ways for individuals to protect their assets and establish their medical wishes, should they ever become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make certain key decisions on their own.
Estate Planning FAQ
Estate planning is a very involved and document-heavy process, so it is only natural that you have lots of questions. Below, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers, concerning the estate planning process.
When should I start drafting my estate plan?
Many people hear the phrase “estate planning” and immediately think it’s something that can wait. However, you should understand that though there is no set age where you “have” to create an estate plan, there truly is no time like the present. Regardless of your age and your income, it is wise to at least draft up some of the most basic estate planning documents, such as your will. Even if you believe you don’t have sufficient assets to warrant drawing up a will, the truth is, you most likely have more than you think.
Additionally, you can include certain non-financial provisions in your will, such as appointing guardians who can care for your child, should you and your child’s other parent pass away or are otherwise unable to care for your child. Though no parent ever wants to imagine such a scenario, choosing the right people to care for their child can go a very long way.
What can an estate plan protect?
A well-rounded estate plan can protect a lot. To start, a comprehensive estate plan can protect your assets, such as funds held in bank accounts, motor vehicles, sentimental assets, and various other assets and properties. Your estate plan can outline exactly what you wish to happen with these assets when you pass on. You can also appoint certain trusted individuals to make certain medical or financial decisions on your behalf via a power of attorney, should you become incapacitated. These are just some of the benefits of a complete estate plan, and ultimately, the goal of any estate plan is to preserve a person’s assets and help them achieve their goals, both while they are alive and after they pass on.
Is it expensive to create an estate plan?
One of the most common questions we are asked is whether creating an estate plan is an expensive undertaking. This is a fair question, and though there are attorney’s fees involved when drafting an estate plan, you must understand that the money spent now is money well-spent. Without hiring an estate planning attorney to craft your estate plan, you run the risk of having an estate plan that contains inaccuracies or one that even isn’t considered valid and enforceable, which will cost you (or your family) far more in the long run. This is why it is always best to simply draft your estate plan now, and with the help of an experienced Texas estate planning lawyer.
When should I update my estate plan?
We understand that once a person has created his or her estate plan, they often want to wipe their hands clean of the matter, move on with their lives, and never think about it again. However, you should know that estate planning is an ongoing process, and though you may have taken care of the bulk of it now, things may come up as the years go by that may warrant you to update your estate plan. For example, if you get divorced or remarried, you may wish to remove/include your ex/new spouse as a beneficiary of your estate. Additionally, a change in your financial situation may also warrant an update to your estate plan. Even having a child will impact the goals and purpose of your estate plan. Overall, anytime you encounter a significant life change, you should consider updating your estate plan with your attorney.
Contact a Texas Estate Planning Lawyer
Regardless of the issue at hand, if you require competent legal assistance to guide you through any estate planning matter, our firm is here to help. Contact Harrell & Paulson, LLP today to schedule your initial consultation with our knowledgeable and compassionate legal team.