Have you ever looked at all that you own and thought about what will happen to it once you’ve passed away? If the answer is “no,” you’re not alone. It can be difficult for many people to think about death.
Even though it’s hard to consider your mortality, estate planning is essential for protecting your assets and your family. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can rest assured that your legacy will live on once you pass away.
Contact a Houston Heights estate planning attorney from Stafford Law Firm to start developing your estate plan.
Located around four miles northeast of downtown Houston, Houston Heights is home to 41,286 Texans. Houston Heights is known for its historic atmosphere, including its Victorian houses. There are 18,841 households in Houston Heights, with an average of two people per household. Additionally, the average household income in Houston Heights is $152,992.
These numbers might not mean much to some, but this information shows us how Houston Heights is an active and thriving community. Houston Heights residents all have something they want to protect, whether it’s a family or valuable assets.
If you’re living in Houston Heights and you want to start planning for the future, then it may be time to create an estate plan. Contact an estate planning lawyer at Stafford Law Firm to get started.
Estate planning is an ongoing process that sets your family up for success when you’re no longer around. It’s as unique as you are and can include various tools.
Because of that, our team offers comprehensive estate planning services so you can hand-select the tools that make sense for your family.
Here are just a few ways our estate planning lawyers can help you.
Wills are a great starting point for your estate plans. In your will, you can designate guardians for minor children, select beneficiaries for your assets, and even dictate your wishes for burial arrangements.
Keep in mind, however, that wills do not provide asset protection, which means they’ll need to be used in conjunction with other estate planning tools to cover all the bases.
Trusts are fiduciary arrangements that allow a third party (trustee) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. When you set up a trust, the trust becomes the owner of those assets and the trustee, the manager, until you pass away or become incapacitated.
Creating a trust allows you to protect those assets from probate and have more autonomy over how and when they’re distributed.
Part of estate planning is planning for the unexpected, like if you become badly injured or sick. In situations like these, your loved ones and doctors will need guidance on what healthcare treatments you want, what life-saving measures you would or wouldn’t prefer, and other decisions.
These aren’t decisions you want your family to have to second-guess about. And when you can’t speak for yourself, healthcare directives allow you to outline your wishes beforehand.
Power of attorney documents allows a third party (agent) to act on your behalf in your absence. If you were temporarily disabled, incapacitated, or taking an extended trip, these documents allow that third party to step in and make important legal, financial, or healthcare decisions for you.
Without these documents, the court could decide who should make these decisions and, depending on the circumstances, end up stripping you of your rights altogether.
Probate is the process of rounding up your final affairs in court. This includes collecting, managing, and distributing your estate. It can be costly and time-consuming, dragging your loved ones back and forth to court to determine what should happen with your estate.
With proper planning, it can be avoided. However, when necessary, surviving loved ones can count on an experienced probate attorney to walk them through the probate and estate administration process.
Planning your estate is an emotional process. We never want to consider what life would be like without us around. But a probate lawyer at Stafford Law Firm can help you plan your estate, protect your assets, and give you peace of mind for the unexpected.
Our other legal services include:
Are you ready to take the next step in planning your estate?
Contact one of our Houston estate planning lawyers serving Houston Heights to schedule a complimentary estate planning consultation.
At Stafford Law Firm, we understand that estate planning can be overwhelming. It’s difficult to think of life after you die. What will happen to your belongings and, more importantly, your family? You can answer these questions for yourself by creating a solid estate plan.
If you’d like to plan for the future and protect your assets, talk to an estate planning attorney from Stafford Law Firm. We’d be happy to help you create an estate plan that best suits you and your family.
Call us today to schedule a consultation. Our office is located at 9601 Katy Fwy Suite 470, Houston, TX 77024.
There is no set age that’s required for estate planning. If you have assets you’d like to protect, then it’s helpful to have an estate plan. Another guideline is to create an estate plan before you get too old to make one or before you need someone to take care of you. You never know when something will happen to you, which is why it’s best to start planning as soon as you can.
While you can technically create a will on your own, it’s best practice to work with an experienced estate planning lawyer. They will make sure your will is legal and valid, and they will help you create a will that best benefits both you and your family. If your estate is large and complex, then you should work with an attorney to create a will that properly secures your assets.
A general rule of thumb is to update your estate plan every three to five years. Additionally, you should revisit your estate plan after a major life event, such as getting married, having a child, or moving to a different state. Your needs will change as you progress through life, so it’s important to update your estate plan every once in a while.
Trusts can help you:
Ask a Houston estate planning attorney whether a trust makes sense for your plans.
A buy-sell agreement is a business succession planning tool that sets up the sale of a business in the event of a specific event, typically the owner’s resignation, voluntary departure, death, or unexpected mental incapacity. The business owners and their family’s demands and preferences can be catered to by customizing a buy-sell agreement. Ask a business attorney for more information.