Estate Planning

Two elements make estate planning difficult. The first is psychological. No one wants to think of his or her own demise, so matters dealing with our own death and its aftermath are often postponed. This avoidance, however, will do nothing to change its inevitability.

The second element is technical. A comprehensive estate plan requires the knowledge of many discrete sections of law, including Wills and estates, property law, tax, powers of attorney, trusts, and how to administer all of these elements together. James Law Firm, P.L.L.C., can help you develop an estate plan that will allow you to achieve your goals.

Why You Need An Estate Planning Attorney

Estate plans, even for straightforward estates, are never simple, because an estate plan covers much more than a single transaction. It should encompass everything from the distribution of your assets to who has authority to manage your estate after your death, and manage your estate while you are alive and make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated.

If you do not have a Last Will and Testament, Texas law has some alternatives, and many of them are undesirable and expensive. If you become incapacitated, someone can be appointed as your guardian after thousands of dollars in legal and medical costs in a guardianship case. If you die without a Will, Texas law will decide where your property passes.

The Worst Case Scenario?

Who will own a share of your business? Who will you be in business with if your business partner dies, divorces, or becomes incapacitated?

For example, a husband has two children from a prior marriage, but none with his current wife. He dies without a Will. His community property share—even the husband and wife's own community property home, even if the wife owes money on the mortgage—is now owned 50% by the two children and 50% by the wife. If the husband owned any real estate before marriage, now the wife owns a 1/3 life estate in such real estate. Not many people decide to distribute their property in such a manner!

An Estate Plan Tailored To Your Needs

Our firm will help you create a plan that will work for your situation and will help you keep it up-to-date for years to come. We meet with you, discuss your goals and assemble the necessary parts of your estate plan. It may include:

  • Wills
  • Trusts, such as Revocable Living Trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Advance directives or living wills
  • Estate tax and income tax planning

Every estate plan is different, and during the life of an estate plan, elements of it may change and need to be altered as your life, family, and business change.

Contact Our Firm For A Free Estate Planning Consultation

The world is full of uncertainty. Putting together a comprehensive estate plan can help reduce some of that uncertainty. Contact our Texas office in The Woodlands at 832-764-7885 or use our online form.