You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and the last thing you want is for what you’ve built to just up and disappear.
Estate planning is the single most important financial decision you can make for your family, keeping your assets out of probate and ensuring your family benefits from all your hard work.
That’s why we’re here—to make sure when the time comes, everything falls into place. At Stafford Law Firm, we’ll help you put together a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your goals.
Reach out today to speak with a River Oaks estate planning attorney today.
Located in the heart of Houston, River Oaks is a residential community in Houston’s Super Neighborhoods list. With a median household income of $162,600 and nearly 38% of homes being owner-occupied, Houstonians living in River Oaks tend to do well for themselves.
As of 2019, just over 7,000 residents lived in this area at or around a median age of 35, the age at which you might be making important decisions about your future.
What you do now sets the tone for what comes next in your life. Whether it’s deciding to have children, buy a home, or travel abroad—the first step is planning. Put your plans in motion, starting with a free initial consultation with our experienced TX lawyers.
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 allow 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 might 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 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 our estate planning lawyers at Stafford Law Firm to schedule a complimentary estate planning consultation.
Creating an estate plan is a big deal—and it’s too important to leave to chance. Whether a basic will or something more complex, you can trust a River Oaks estate planning attorney at Stafford Law Firm to handle all of your legal needs with care.
Book your free consultation with our law office today.
Unfortunately, your debt doesn’t die when you do. If your assets pass through probate court, the Executor of your estate will need to use probate assets (excluding life insurance policies, retirement accounts, payable-upon-death bank accounts, etc.) to pay your outstanding debts. Speak with a probate lawyer to determine how your debts will be handled and how to avoid probate court altogether.
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 attorney so that your assets go to the correct people once you’re gone.
Probate is the process of carrying out your will and handling your estate once you pass away. An executor fulfills this process, and some of their duties include appraising your property, paying off your debts, and distributing your assets to beneficiaries. Probate can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Thankfully, a probate lawyer can help make it a lot more simple.