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One thing we know is true; things change. The unexpected happens – an illness, a death – and a family’s life can be turned upside down.
That’s when advance planning can make all the difference. Having a will, a medical directive or a Trust already in place can take a huge burden of uncertainty off your loved ones’ shoulders. An hour or two of your time now, can mean so much for your family later.
Don’t put off this simple task estate planning. Call the Texas Wills and Trusts lawyers at McCarty-Larson, PLLC today. We’ve worked with many family’s just like yours and we will do everything we can to make the process quick and understandable.
It’s a real blessing, in a time of crisis and grief, to know that there is a Will or a Trust in place. It makes the process of probating or administering an estate so much easier. Your family does not have to guess at what you would want, and there is less chance of family conflicts.
Our Midlothian estate planning attorneys will ask about your goals and then explain the benefits and options of using a Will or a Trust to distribute your estate. We can help you on choose the right tools for an estate the size of yours and the goals you would like to achieve.
Last Will and Testament: A Will is a simple and cost-effective document to distribute things you own. If you don’t have a Will, state law will determine how your estate is distributed. With a Will, you can exclude people who otherwise would have inherited, and decide in advance how best to divide your estate.
If you transfer your estate through a Will, your estate will go through the probate process. That can be a relatively easy process in Texas, depending on the size of your estate and the relationships within your family. If you choose to put your estate into a Trust instead, it will not go through the probate process.
Trusts: What all Trusts have in common is this: they transfer the assets of an estate to the selected heirs at the time that you, the Trust funder, designate. Trusts also avoid the probate process.
Depending upon the type of Trust you choose, this estate planning tool can help you protect assets from tax liability during your lifetime and meet a variety of goals after you are gone. With a Trust you can:
A Trust can achieve a lot more goals, but it is also more expensive to establish and to manage. In a Living or Revocable Trust, a person retains some control over the use of the money and assets in the Trust while they are alive. With an Irrevocable Trust, the funder does not control the Trust in the Trust; the Trustees do.
When you visit our office, we can talk about the most cost-effective way to do what you would like to do with your estate plan.
At McCarty-Larson, we work with a lot of clients who are going through a divorce. Don’t forget to revise your estate plan at this time. You probably don’t want your ex-spouse to make life or death decisions for you, or to manage your estate. As a good rule of thumb, one should update your will or trust every three years to make sure they take into account changes in your life.
If your family knows in advance that there will come a time when help is needed, because a family member has been diagnosed in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s or some other disabling disease, that family member may want to grant someone the Power of Attorney. This is a simple process that ensures someone can make financial and/or medical decisions when needed.
The ill or disabled person must be of sound mind to make such a decision. If they are not, then legal guardianship is the only tool available to give someone authority to make critical decisions.
Legal guardianship can be controversial if all family members don’t agree on what’s best for the incompetent family member. But it’s also a great gift to know that someone will be there to handle personal and financial affairs so your loved one won’t be unprotected.
The guardianship lawyers at McCarty-Larson have extensive courtroom experience. We will make the case for the best interest of the vulnerable adult or child.