Estate planning is the process of identifying final wishes for your personal property and
financial assets. The process includes identifying your intended beneficiaries and strategic
planning to minimize tax obligations upon your death, as well as protect your assets during your
lifetime and in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as illness, permanent disability, or
divorce. In Texas, if you pass away without a will or trust, state law decides who will receive your
property, money, and personal belongings.
An estate plan ensures that your property is transferred according to your wishes and desires,
that you provide financial security for your spouse or another family member, and to protect
your estate from the rising costs of long-term care or medical care. If your estate is taxable, we
work to ensure that your estate pays the least amount of estate taxes possible. A well-designed
estate plan also includes documents such as powers of attorney that avoid a court-administered
guardianship in the event of your incapacity, giving a trusted fiduciary control to handle your
finances, as well as health care powers of attorney that give you control over your medical
wishes and who would make decisions regarding your care in the event you are unable to.
Preparing for an unforeseen illness or other personally debilitating situation is a major portion
of the estate planning process. This is an individual’s time to articulate their wishes in no
uncertain terms regarding medical care and decision-makers.
Estate Planning includes written instruments such as:
- Revocable Trusts
- Minor’s Trusts and Guardianship Plans
- Irrevocable Grantor Trusts (Five-Year Trusts for Medicaid Protection)
- ILIT (Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts)
- GRATS (Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts)
- Sophisticated Tax Planning Wills & Trusts
- Charitable Planned Giving
- Supplemental Needs Trusts for Individuals on Public Benefits or with Special Needs
- Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Wills, Declarations of Guardian (for
children and adults in the event of incapacity)
- Burial or Cremation Instructions
- Farm Succession Planning
- Gun Trusts
- Pet Trusts
Our attorneys will guide you through each step of the estate planning process. This means that
we will assist you in evaluating your needs, suggest a plan that fits your specific goals and
addresses your concerns, draft your documents, review them with you, and provide you with the
formalities and guidance necessary for their effective execution and use.
We work to coordinate your estate plan with your financial professionals if you utilize financial
advisors, wealth managers, or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
At the end of the estate planning process, you should walk away feeling like you are prepared for
the future and have peace of mind that your affairs are organized and will be taken care of how
YOU want them to be.