It seems like you can find anything on the internet in this day and age. However, if you think you can print off a few estate planning documents on the internet and do the job yourself, you are mistaken.
In fact, a do-it-yourself Will isn’t enough to protect your family home and life savings. You are risking the future of your loved ones by trying to handle this complicated legal process by yourself. Estate planning is best done with the help of a professional estate planning attorney at Bolton Law in The Woodlands, Texas.
Contact our experienced estate planning attorneys, and we will take a closer look at your situation, talk to you about your future goals, and let you know how we can help you achieve your goals. In fact, our decades of real-world experience can help you protect your assets for the future of your loved ones. Every family is unique and a cookie-cutter approach to estate planning doesn’t actually work.
If your family situation includes minor children, divorce, no children, remarriage, a family business, disabled dependents, and a commitment to charitable giving, your estate plan should be able to address the issues these situations may create in the future. We offer estate planning services tailored to your unique needs.
Call the experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyers at Bolton Law at 281-351-7897 for all your estate planning needs in The Woodlands, Texas!
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the legal process of setting up a plan that establishes who will receive your assets in the future once you become incapacitated or die. The plan will make known how you want your affairs to be handled in the event you are unable to handle them by yourself for whatever reason.
The process is quite complicated and you will definitely feel overwhelmed if you try to do it on your own. There is a lot more to estate planning than your finances. Estate planning has been around for many years but is becoming increasingly popular these days.
A properly prepared estate plan should lay out your wishes exactly and in the most tax-advantaged manner. In fact, there shouldn’t be any questions, misunderstandings, or misconceptions about what you want when you have a properly formulated estate plan.
What Can an Estate Planning Attorney Help With?
An estate planning lawyer provides numerous services to their clients. The process involves the drafting and finalizing of documents pertaining to your property, typically done with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney in The Woodlands, TX.
Although estate planning typically focuses on distributing property after your death, it may also concern how property is handled during your lifetime. Here are some of the most common services offered by an experienced estate planning lawyer at Bolton Law:
Last Will and Testament
This is the cornerstone of most estate plans. This is the document that details how you want your property inherited or managed when you are incapacitated or after your death. The Will belongs to the testator or the owner of the Will. Most states mandate that the testator should be at least 18 years of age and have a sound mind at the time of creating the Will.
An estate planning lawyer will listen to your instructions and draft the Last Will and Testament according to your instructions. You have the right to appoint a person to manage your property after your death. This person is known as the executor of the Will.
The executor is responsible for complying with laws of the state regarding probate and the distribution of property. The executor will follow the directions in the Will and pay off creditors and taxes and then distribute the remaining property to your beneficiaries.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney will let a person (an agent) act on behalf of another person (the principal). A power of attorney is a legal document that allows the agent to handle the legal and financial affairs of the principal.
The document can provide broad power to the agent to exercise all legal rights on behalf of the principal or provide only for specific powers, such as selling a property. The principal can decide when a power of attorney goes into effect. The document may include a set period of dates or spring into effect later at the time of an event you determine.
Directive to Physicians
A directive to physicians is an essential component of an effective estate plan. This document will notify healthcare professionals of your desires should your health condition become terminal or irreversible. In fact, this document is a clear statement of your wishes that tells your healthcare provider what should be done should your health condition become terminal or irreversible.
An estate planning lawyer can help you create a trust. A Trust is a tool that will let another person (trustee) hold assets that have been placed into the trust on behalf of a beneficiary. You can serve as the trustee of your own Trust depending on which type of trust you create. The document will outline when the trustee needs to make disbursements to the beneficiaries. A Trust can be used alone or in addition to a Will.
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. A HIPAA release is a document that’s part of the Healthcare advance directives. When you sign a HIPPA release form, you grant the agent the right to access your sensitive medical information.
A HIPPA release can be drafted on its own or merged with your Living Will. This document will give your agent the ability to access medical and billing records, receive otherwise protected health information, and request amendments and accountings.
Estate and Gift Tax Planning
The optimum estate plan should include efficient methods for reducing the overall tax burden such as gift tax, income tax, estate tax, and capital gains tax. An experienced estate planning lawyer is the best person to implement tax-efficient strategies to achieve your estate planning goals.
Asset protection is the process of finding ways to proactively protect assets. It is an important component of any effective estate plan. Once you integrate your financial goals with your estate planning goals and position or reposition your assets to be protected from creditors, you will have an effective asset protection plan in place.
Retirement plans are a significant part of your estate plan. It is beneficial to avoid the probate process whenever possible. Fortunately, the money you leave in an IRA account can easily bypass the probate process. You only need to name a beneficiary or beneficiaries on these retirement accounts and the money will pass directly to the beneficiaries or beneficiary without the need for probate.
Business Succession Planning
A succession plan is critical to the sustainability of a business. It’s a strategy that helps to continue to operate the business smoothly and effectively as it is passed on to future generations once you pass away. A professional estate planning attorney in The Woodlands, TX can help you with highly effective business succession planning.
What Is the Importance of Writing a Will?
Although you may think that a Will is a document that allows you to determine how your assets will be distributed once you die, Wills are much more than that. You can create a guardianship for any minor children you may have in your Will.
It will let you determine who you want to care for and raise your minor children once you become incapacitated or die and your spouse isn’t in a position to care for them. In case you don’t create a guardianship, the court will decide who should raise your children. Even though the court will try to do the best for your kids, no one knows better than you what will benefit them the most.
What Is the Importance of a Well-Rounded Estate Plan?
Wills are not the only critical estate planning document. In fact, you can decide to write a Living Will to offer guidance about whether you would like to receive certain life-prolonging treatments such as ventilators or feeding tubes.
On the other hand, a power of attorney will let you appoint a trusted person as an agent to make certain key financial and medical decisions on your behalf – in case you become incapacitated.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney in The Woodlands Today!
Estate planning is not the best DIY job since it involves so many complicated legal proceedings. You will be risking the future of your loved ones by trying to handle this challenging legal process by yourself. In fact, estate planning is best performed with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer from Bolton Law.
We offer estate planning services tailored to your unique needs. Call the experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyers at Bolton Law at 281-351-7897 for all your estate planning needs in The Woodlands, Texas!