What would happen to your estate if you passed away today? Do you know how your family members would fare handling your affairs?
Sure, it’s no fun considering what life would be like when you’re gone, but with a legally sound estate plan, you can gain some peace of mind and rest easy knowing your wishes will be honored and your loved ones will be cared for no matter what.
Reach out to a Montrose estate planning attorney at Stafford Law Firm today to build a well-crafted estate plan that benefits your loved ones’ future.
A mere three miles from downtown Houston, Montrose was voted #7 in Best Neighborhoods to Live in Houston by Niche. 32,500 Texans call the neighborhood home, but it’s a renter’s paradise. With the majority of residents opting to rent their homes, the homeownership rate in Montrose sits well below the national homeownership average at just 40%.
Meanwhile, the median home value in the Texas neighborhood is well above the national average at $514,664, and the median rent sits at $1,500 per month.
Niche also voted the Neartown-Montrose neighborhood as the #1 Best Neighborhood in Houston for Young Professionals. With a vibrant nightlife and plenty to do, the social urban area is a happening place to live for young professionals.
What does all this mean for you? Well, if you’re researching estate planning in Montrose, chances are you have assets and a future to look out for, and you can’t risk losing everything you’ve earned on a whim.
When your future is on the line, don’t just hire anyone—hire Montrose estate planning attorneys who know what they’re doing.
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 we 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 process.
Planning your estate is an emotional process. We never want to consider what life would be like without us around. But at Stafford Law Firm, our attorneys can use their knowledge of Texas estate law to 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 a TX estate planning lawyer at Stafford Law Firm to schedule a complimentary estate planning consultation. We can help you organize all of the legal documents for your estate plan.
Some people think they don’t need an estate plan. Maybe they don’t have anyone to leave their wealth to or think they don’t have enough wealth to warrant estate planning.
The truth is, though, we all have people or things we care about—a spouse, a child, a charity. We work hard for the things we have and we try to ensure the people we care about are always taken care of. Why not take the next step, make it official, and guarantee that your wishes are honored should you not be able to speak for yourself one day?
If you pass away without a will, the courts will decide what to do with your assets. This is not always the best option since you get no say in what happens to your belongings. For example, something special that you wanted to give to a particular person could be given to someone else.
It’s best practice to create a will with an estate planning lawyer so that your assets go to the correct people once you’re gone.
An executor of an estate is responsible for carrying out a will, paying debts and estate or inheritance taxes where applicable, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries during the probate process. You can appoint an executor in your will. If you do not name an executor before you pass away, the state will choose one at a probate hearing.
Trusts can help you:
Ask a trust administration attorney whether a trust makes sense for your estate plans.
A revocable trust can be changed or altered. This is helpful because you may want to revise the conditions of the trust as life goes on. Meanwhile, an irrevocable trust cannot be changed once it’s finalized. Irrevocable trusts are useful because they avoid some estate taxes.