When you have a proper estate plan in place, you can rest assured knowing that you have created a secure future for your loved ones. Whether you are just starting your career or nearing retirement age, you should think about the financial security of your loved ones and what will happen to your assets once you pass. That is where estate planning becomes so important.
An experienced estate planning and probate lawyer in Kingwood, Texas gives you the peace of mind that your wealth is secure and your loved ones are provided for after you pass. Our expert team at Bolton Law will also guide the personal representative or executor of your Will through the probate process and handle litigation when a dispute arises.
We know that you only want the best for your loved ones and that you want a guarantee that they will be taken care of when you cannot do so yourself. Our reliable lawyers will ensure that your wishes will be carried out when that time comes.
What Exactly Is Probate Law?
Probate law is the law that governs the probate process and rules how the decedent’s assets should be distributed among his or her heirs.
When your loved one passes away without transferring assets over to his or her beneficiaries through a trust or any other method, their estate will enter the probate process. During the process, the court will acknowledge the loved one’s death and make sure his/her debts and taxes are paid and the rest of the assets are properly distributed to their beneficiaries.
On the other hand, if your loved one passes away with a Will, his or her personal representative or executor may file for probate and handle any outstanding debts and taxes and ensure the remaining assets are distributed accordingly on behalf of the decedent. Most of the time, the probate process in Texas concludes within a couple of months.
However, if the original Will is lost or someone contests the Will of your loved one, the probate process can easily take over a year. The most effective way to handle probate is to work with a skilled and experienced estate planning and probate lawyer in Kingwood, TX.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a type of agreement where an individual decides who will own or manage their assets once he or she is incapacitated or deceased. Estate planning is important since it eliminates the hassle of legal heirs having to bear the taxes of transferring the assets of the deceased. If the beneficiary of an estate is a minor, a guardian will be assigned until the beneficiary becomes 18 years old.
There are many advantages of estate planning including:
Planning Division of Assets
In the absence of a trust or Will, the government may decide on the allocation of assets of the deceased person. It could mean that a non-family member or friend can get the deceased assets ahead of an immediate family member. Estate planning helps the right people to get the assets of their loved one after he or she passes away.
Planning How Assets Are Managed
Estate planning also helps decide who will manage and own the assets of your loved one while he or she is still alive but not in a position to manage the assets due to an illness or accident.
Faster Transfer of Assets
Many estates will take a long time to settle without a plan. In fact, disputes can arise among family members regarding the allocation of assets. Having a plan in advance helps transfer the estate faster and proficiently among the beneficiaries.
Reduced Fees and Taxes
When your deceased loved one doesn’t have an estate plan, there could be a lot of fees and taxes involved in the transfer and division of assets. Having an estate plan helps reduce such fees and taxes. It also helps avoid more money from being taken out of the estate to pay the fees and taxes.
Make Retirement Easier
Estate planning can also make retirement easier for you. By sorting out your future financial life, you are more likely to take advantage of government programs available to you during your retirement. In fact, you can live with increased peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for the future and have taken care of your loved ones.
What Are the Types of Services Provided by an Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer in Kingwood?
With so many different facets to state planning these days, it gets quite difficult to pinpoint the many ways that a probate or estate planning lawyer can assist you. An estate planning or probate lawyer is like any other attorney in Texas. They should get licensed through the Texas Bar Association.
Here are some of the many services provided by an estate planning or probate lawyer in Texas:
- Draft estate planning documents including Trusts and Wills
- Guide you in designating your beneficiaries
- Offer legal advice on complicated issues such as powers of attorney and the probate process
- Collect the life insurance policy proceeds of the deceased
- Order property appraisals for real property
- Make the final distribution among the family members after paying the debts, bills, and taxes of the deceased
- Prepare and file all court documents in case of a probate process
- Retitle assets in beneficiaries’ names
- Determine and pay inheritance taxes
- Identify all estate assets of the deceased
- Open and manage the estate’s checking account
- And More
When Do I Need an Estate Planning and Probate Attorney?
Whether or not you need the services of a probate or estate planning lawyer will depend on many factors. Here are some things to consider before choosing an estate planning or probate lawyer to handle your probate.
- What type of estate plan has the decedent set up?
- How complicated are the state probate laws?
- Does your loved one have a Will, Trust, both, or nothing at all?
- What is the size of your loved one’s estate?
- How complicated are the assets and beneficiary designations?
- Are there any contentious beneficiary relationships?
You should take all these factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to work with an experienced estate planning or probate lawyer from Bolton Law. If your deceased loved one has only a Will, you are going to have to deal with probate.
The next step is to consider how complicated his/her estate is. This will decide how difficult the probate will be. In fact, the more complicated the estate is, the better you work with a probate lawyer. On the other hand, if your deceased loved one has a well-set-up Trust in place, you may not need the services of a probate lawyer.
Even though you can go through probate without a lawyer if the estate is big enough or complicated, you should retain the services of an estate planning or probate lawyer in Kingwood, TX. Our experienced probate lawyers at Bolton Law have the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to complete your probate process within the shortest possible time period.
Why Choose Bolton Law?
There are many advantages of retaining Bolton Law in Kingwood, Texas for your estate planning and probate matters including:
- Knowledge and Experience – Our team of estate planning lawyers knows how to draft documents to withstand potential challenges from disgruntled potential heirs. In fact, we have decades of experience in handling a wide range of estate planning and probate matters in Texas.
- Litigation Skills – Our probate lawyers have a record of success in litigating cases in probate court.
You are always assured of our personal attention to each of your urgent concerns. We understand the importance of protecting your assets for the future of your loved ones. Our experienced probate and estate planning lawyers assist individuals and couples with establishing Trusts, drawing up Wills, preparing Powers of Attorney and handling contested estates.
Call Our Kingwood Estate Planning and Probate Lawyers!
With a proper estate plan in place, you can rest assured that you have created a secure future for your loved ones. Whether you are beginning your career or nearing retirement age, you should think about what will happen to your loved ones in case you suddenly pass away.
That is where estate planning comes in handy. Estate planning helps secure the financial future of your family and loved ones by distributing your assets evenly among them. Estate planning and probate matters are quite complicated in Texas.
You should work with an experienced estate planning and probate lawyer in Kingwood, Texas when planning your estate or during the probate process. The lawyers at Bolton Law will ensure that your wishes will be carried out when that time comes.