Estate Planning Attorney Bedford, TX
Estate planning can be a very complex process, especially if you have a large estate, but it can also be the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your legacy.
There are many legal strategies involved in estate planning, including healthcare documents, durable powers of attorney, irrevocable trusts, revocable living trusts, and wills. When a new client speaks to a Bedford estate planning attorney at Mitchell Nachtigal Law, they often don't know much about these estate planning options or where to start. Our firm offers comprehensive estate planning services for estates of all sizes. Our services include real estate transactions, trusts, probate, wills, asset protection, and more. Estate planning usually involves more than simply drawing up a will. If you have assets or real estate that totals more than $150,000, you must speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer at Mitchell Nachtigal Law soon as possible.
Estate Planning Services
Some of the common estate planning services offered include:
Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament are only part of a comprehensive estate plan. If a person dies without a will state laws will determine to whom and how the deceased party’s assets will be distributed.
Some things you should know about wills include:
· The will is a good place to nominate the guardians of minor children if they are orphaned. Parents of minor children should always document their choice of guardians. If parents leave this to chance, they could be setting up a family dispute and their children could end up with the wrong guardians.
· Wills don't help an estate avoid probate. Wills are legal documents that are submitted to probate courts so it's basically an admission ticket to probate.
· Wills will have no legal authority over managing a person's affairs when they're incapacitated, whether by injury or illness.
In Texas, every will must contain certain provisions to be valid. A living will is an official document that satisfies the requirement of the law and can be the best way to ensure all of the beneficiaries are protected. The living will tells your beneficiaries and the court how you want your assets handled after you have passed.
There are a few different types of trusts. Some can be complex or simple, and some can serve for a variety of tax planning, investment, personal, or legal purposes. At the basic level, trusts are legal entities with at least three parties involved:
· The trust beneficiary
· Trust maker
Often, all three parties will be represented by a married couple or one person. For example, with a revocable living trust, a person can create a trust and name themselves the current trustee who manages the trust assets for their own benefits.
There can be many advantages to establishing a trust, depending on the situation. This includes avoiding probate court.
In many cases, assets that are owned in a revocable living trust can pass to the trust's beneficiaries upon the death of the trust maker without the requirement of probate. Some types of trusts can provide tax advantages for both the beneficiary and the trust maker.
A trust can also be used by someone else to invest and manage property for the named beneficiaries and the trust maker, or it can be used to protect property from creditors.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a type of legal document that gives another person the legal power to do certain things for you. What those powers are can depend on the terms of the document. This type of document can be very limited and specific or very broad. A power of attorney will be terminated after you die or when you’re no longer able to make decisions.
A durable power of attorney should be used when the intent is to designate a backup decision-maker. This document should be frequently updated since banks and other types of financial institutions can hesitate to honor a power of attorney that's more than a year old.
Healthcare documents, such as an advance directive are a type of document that specifies the type of personal and medical care you would want in the event you lose your ability to communicate and make your own decisions. A person over the age of 18 can execute an advance directive and this document is considered legally binding. An advance directive can specify who will communicate and make decisions for you, and it details the circumstances under which you would like your life to be prolonged if you're no longer able to communicate your wishes.
Giving certain individuals access to your medical information and authorization to your medical providers is often included when someone creates an advance directive.
Thorough Knowledge of Federal and State Laws
Probate laws are frequently updated, and chances are if you're planning your estate, you may miss a new law that may negatively impact your planning. An experienced estate planning lawyer will stay up to date on the current Texas probate codes and will know how or if changes will impact your estate plan.
Our attorneys have several years of experience in probate law are well-versed in Texas probate codes and can help you choose the perfect solution for your estate planning needs, regardless of the size of your estate.
Contact a Texas Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Estate planning is one of the best things a person can do for their family. Creating an estate plan can help protect a person, their family, and their legacy. If you have questions and concerns regarding estate planning, speak with a Bedford estate planning lawyer at Mitchell Nachtigal Law today.
Whether it's managing a will through probate, or a complex estate plan that involves advanced irrevocable trust strategies, structured lifetime gifting, and multi-tiered structuring, our estate planning attorneys will provide the best solutions and estate planning strategies you need to ensure your estate passes to your heirs efficiently, quickly, and inexpensively. We will use our years of experience to ensure your wishes will be carried out while minimizing taxes and protecting your assets. Contact the estate planning lawyers at Mitchell Nachtigal Law today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your estate planning options and how we can help.