Probate & Estate Planning

No matter the value of your assets, you have the right to decide who will manage your estate after your death, and how your assets will be distributed. Without a Last Will and Testament (“Will”), these very important decisions will be made by the government. In order to have all of your affairs in order, it is important that you hire an experienced Texas lawyer who can assist you with probate and estate planning. When you have structured preparations in place, you can rest easy knowing that your beneficiaries will receive exactly what you want them to. The two most important aspects of probate and estate planning are:

1. Wills

Having an official will that satisfies the requirements of the law is the best way to ensure that your beneficiaries are well protected. It must contain certain provisions in order to be valid, which is why you should hire a licensed and experienced attorney. You will be able to name an executor that will carry out your personal matters during the probate process. In addition, you can choose a guardian for your minor children, as well as provide for your loved ones. Estate planning allows you to stay in control of your property. When you die without a will, the court and intestacy laws decide how it will be distributed.

2. Trusts

A trust can facilitate the distribution of your property by keeping it out of probate. During probate proceedings, it must be proven that a will is genuine and that the property is distributed accordingly. This process can often be quite lengthy, delaying the distribution of assets to your beneficiaries. You can set up a trust as part of your estate planning in order to avoid these impediments. By having a trust in place, your beneficiaries can also avoid paying for costly probate fees that reduce the value of the property being distributed.
It is important to note that a will should still be drafted in order to account for property that you acquire right before your death and are not part of your trust.

A lawyer is the best source of information on all matters relating to the transfer of property. A Texas attorney is required to stay abreast of any changes in estate planning laws and policies. A legal professional can also answer all of your questions and concerns about estate planning, so that you can fully understand your options.

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