Carolene A. Folse
ESTATE PLANNING, WILLS & TRUSTS, PROBATE
The vast majority of Americans are familiar with the concept of a Will, but a large percentage of the population will never make a will or consult a lawyer to discuss the specific reasons to have one. The result of failing to plan often leaves families facing a time of chaos that could so easily be prevented.
In general, a Will is an instrument used to spell out how a person wants their assets divided at the time of their death. It may also address the allocation and payment of debts, the handling of assets left to minors, and offer protections for beneficiaries. Ancillary documents offered at no additional charge with every estate plan prepared by our firm include financial and medical powers of attorney, medical and HIPAA directives, and guardianship documents.
When someone dies, that person’s estate must generally go through a probate process which, contrary to many other states and general perception, is a relatively easy process in Texas. It normally includes a single court appearance, identification of assets, payment of debts owed by the estate, and distribution of the remaining assets to the beneficiaries and heirs of the deceased. In many instances, expedited non-probate procedures may be available to avoid the probate process altogether. We coordinate with specialists in this area to provide our clients the information and guidance necessary to navigate this process as quickly and cost efficiently as possible.
Our estate planning services include assistance and preparation of the following:
· Simple Wills
· Complex Wills with Marital, Family, Children’s, Contingent and other Testamentary Trusts
· Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts
o Vacation Home Sharing Trusts
o Pet Trusts (equine as well as small animal)
· Ancillary Documentation
o Statutory Durable Powers of Attorney
o Medical Directives (Living Wills)
o Medical Powers of Attorney
o HIPAA Medical Authorizations
o Declarations of Guardianship for Self and Minor Children
· Probate and Probate Alternatives
o Muniment of Title
o Small Estate Affidavit
o Family Settlement Agreements
*For some, providing for loved ones may even include planning arrangements for special pets (from favorite dogs and cats to horses, goats and donkeys). We can help with that as well.
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