Planning for your estate may seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. With guidance from the Law Office of Annabel Moore, we can plan ahead to save your family from the anxiety and stress of any future disability or your death. Families, like estates, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and structures. We have extensive estate planning experience for families of all types and are ready to help you create a detailed and thoughtful estate plan that respects your current and future wishes. You and your family are important to us and we will partner with you to give you peace of mind should something unfortunate happen. Contact our office today to discuss your estate planning needs.
There are a variety of documents involved in basic estate planning that ensure your assets are protected, your directions are followed, and your wishes are known. We will draft these documents together according to your instructions.
A Last Will and Testament in Texas details how your property will be distributed to your loved ones and/or any important organizations you designate after you die. A Will also designates the executor of your estate that will make sure your wishes are upheld. If you have children under the age of 18, your Will determines who will act as their guardian after you pass away. If you die without a written valid Will in the state of Texas, your property will be distributed according to Texas state intestacy law. In the event someone passes away without a Will, the courts will likely not distribute their assets in the way that person would have liked, which is why it is essential to have a written Will that you update every few years and/or as your life circumstances change and evolve.
There are various types of trusts that can be set up for different purposes. Trusts hold titles to assets for beneficiaries named in the trust. Trusts are a valuable planning tool and can help direct assets to a variety of people or organizations. Trusts are customizable and our legal team will work with you to set up a trust that meets you and your family’s needs. Many people seek to minimize taxes by planning an estate with a trust. While many trusts can help minimize or eliminate gift and estate taxes, other trusts cannot. To achieve tax benefits while meeting other goals, it’s important to consult an experienced estate planning attorney.
Common types of trusts our clients often choose:
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Testamentary Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives (Living Will)
Documents such as a Power of Attorney, an Advance Directive, and a Living Will give a designated person the right to act on one’s behalf should that person become incapacitated. These documents can be revoked at any time and become invalid when the person who executed them dies.
A Statutory Durable Power of Attorney empowers a designated individual to make financial decisions for you when you are unable to handle your own affairs. This legal document can grant broad powers to the designated individual to manage your personal and business affairs. Naming someone who you trust and have confidence in will be essential to ensuring all decisions made align with your personal directives. While limitations can be written into the document, it is essential to discuss your intentions with the appointee before drafting and signing this document. A Durable Power of Attorney allows a designated individual to make all relevant decisions except for medical decisions.
Advance Directives, also known as living wills, communicate your wishes regarding medical care and end-of-life decisions to your family and medical care professionals should you become incapacitated. These documents typically include a Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates, Medical Power of Attorney, and Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate (commonly known as a DNR). A Medical Power of Attorney designates a specific person to make medical care decisions should you become unable to do so. Speaking with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney about all of these documents will help you and your family fully understand the powers granted and how best to ensure your wishes are upheld.
When a loved one has passed, to begin the process of asset distribution, the estate must go through a process called probate. Texas probate law mandates a specific set of steps that are followed to ensure all necessary information is validated. Annabel Moore guides clients through the probate process to ensure their final wishes are respected. Probate in Texas can be avoided, saving families the money and stress of court proceedings. An experienced estate planning attorney can help your family avoid probate proceedings through variety of strategies.
Friendswood Estate Planning Lawyers
Many aspects of estate planning are unique to each family. We understand planning for a future after you pass away or become incapacitated is very personal and thus each step should be given special consideration. We are here to help, so contact us today to begin the process of planning your estate.