Have you ever thought of what will happen to your legacy (your family, wealth, property, etc.) once you’ve passed away?
No? That’s okay. We understand that thinking about death can be difficult.
While planning for the future can be overwhelming, it’s beneficial. Estate planning allows you to protect your family and decide what will happen to your assets after you pass away. Need help developing an estate plan? Take the first step by talking to an experienced attorney.
A The Woodlands estate planning attorney from Stafford Law Firm can help you create an estate plan that lasts. Contact us today to get started.
Around 30 miles north of Houston, Texas, The Woodlands is home to over 114,000 Texans. As suggested by its name, The Woodlands is known for its nature, specifically its tree-filled hiking and bike trails. Though popularized by its parks and recreations, The Woodlands is also known for its shopping, dining, and other fun activities.
The Woodlands, TX, had 42,103 housing units from 2017 to 2021, with an average of around three people per household. Additionally, the median household income during this time was $130,011.
So what does this mean for you? This information shows us how wonderful of an area The Woodlands is. It is a beautiful and bustling community with so much to offer. The residents of The Woodlands all have assets they want to protect. Effective estate planning can help them achieve their goals for the future.
Need help getting started? Contact one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.
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 of the estate planning documents we can help you with.
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 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 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 attorney at Stafford Law Firm to schedule a complimentary estate planning consultation.
A well-crafted estate plan can protect your legacy for years to come. Whether you’re planning for the future, protecting your assets, or providing for your family, an estate plan is a necessary resource. With an estate plan, you can rest easy knowing that your family and assets are taken care of.
If you have any questions or want to start working on your estate plan, contact an estate planning attorney from Stafford Law Firm. We’re here to help you create a comprehensive plan that suits your needs.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation. Our office is located at 9601 Katy Fwy Suite 470, Houston, TX 77024.
If you have assets and, more importantly, a family you wish to protect, then you should create an estate plan. Many people put off estate planning for a variety of reasons. However, it’s essential that you create one before it’s too late. Illness or death is unpredictable, which is why you need a comprehensive estate plan.
Estate planning is more than just a will. It includes important documents like trusts, beneficiary designations, power of attorneys, and any instructions once you die or if you become incapacitated. An estate plan is a living document: you should update it as your needs change.
If you don’t create a plan for yourself and become incapacitated, your family members or close friends can petition a court to appoint a guardian. This means you’ll be taken care of even if you don’t make an incapacity plan. However, someone could be appointed your guardian that you wouldn’t have wanted to care for you, which is why it’s important to have an incapacitation plan.
A trust is a fiduciary relationship between three parties: a grantor, a trustee, and a beneficiary. The grantor is the person who creates and determines the conditions of the trust. In a trust, the assets are transferred from the grantor to the trustee. The trustee then owns the trust funds. Their responsibility is to distribute the funds to the third party, the beneficiary.
A trust is one of several asset protection strategies. It allows the trustee to hold and distribute the funds on the grantor’s behalf. Trusts are great tools for controlling and customizing your assets.
Probate is the process of 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.
Some think that having a will protects their family from probate. However, this is a misconception. A will is beneficial, but most estates have to go through probate regardless of whether or not the decedent created one. Having a will makes probate easier to complete since your executor will know how to distribute your assets.
If you want to avoid probate, you can create a revocable living trust. Trusts don’t have to go through probate, so your assets can go to your beneficiaries immediately.