Estate Planning Lawyer in Dallas
Your Estate Planning Needs
Planning your estate at any age is a wise move, but when you take the time to think things through at a younger age, you can reap greater benefits from having an estate plan in place. A Dallas estate planning attorney can greatly help you to understand the need for this type of legal preparation in your life and how it can benefit you in the long run.
Estate planning is basically the act of fully reviewing your estate and planning out the best method of protecting assets, handling liabilities and transferring the wealth you have accumulated to your heirs. Doing this with a knowledgeable attorney can help you avoid pitfalls that can result in large inheritance taxes. It also protects your family from your estate going into probate rather than being executed per your wishes. For those with children, it is essential to have written instructions as to their guardians and future care, rather than allow the state to determine who will ultimately raise them.
Estate Planning Practice Areas
If you wish to prepare for your future, creating a will may be a good step for you to take. Creating a valid will has many benefits, including stipulating who will care for your children after you are gone as well as how your property will be divided. If you die without a valid will in place, the court may decide what will happen with your remaining assets and they may not divide them in the way you would have wished.
A trust is similar to a will in that it allows an individual to prepare for the future. However, it can also have benefits while you are still alive. A trust can be set up to put money away for an individual in the future. The funds are signed over to a trustee who manages the money until the time comes for it to be handed over to the recipient.
If you are considering creating a trust, you will first have to appoint a trustee who will be in charge of administering the funds until the time where the recipient comes into their money. Their responsibilities will include: giving updates to the beneficiaries regarding the trust, inventorying the assets and investing them if needed, ensuring that taxes are accurately filed and paid, and ensuring that the trust is handed over to the beneficiary when the appointed time comes.
Are you thinking about creating a trust so that your loved ones are looked after? However, before you do so, you need to realize that there are many different types of trusts to choose from. One type of trust is an irrevocable trust. Just as the name implies, this type of trust cannot be changed once is has been established. Due to this fact, it is extremely important that you think through every aspect of your case before finishing the process.
Special Needs Trusts
What is a special needs trust? It is a trust that allows an individual to care for how their loved ones who have special needs will be cared for once they are gone. Having this type of trust set up for them should not change the help they receive from the government but is supplemental income. Through thorough estate planning, you can have complete confidence in knowing that your loved one will be cared for.
Qualified Domestic Trusts
Another type of trust you could avail from when considering estate planning is a qualified domestic trust. Known as a QDT, it can be set up if one spouse is a U.S. citizen and the other is not. It can also help avoid estate tax when the money is transferred. In order to guarantee that the trust is set up correctly, you need to have a qualified legal representative handle your case. This can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your spouse will be cared for once you pass away.
Planning for Incapacity
Estate planning not only allows you to plan ahead regarding how your finances will be divided, but also in regards to health care. If you become incapacitated and are unable to let your family know your wishes regarding health care, you could be left in a situation you did not want to be in. However, planning for incapacity could also let you make decisions regarding how your finances should be managed if you are still alive but not able to handle these affairs.
Executors, Guardians & Trustees
One of the most important decisions you will have to make regarding estate planning is choosing who you will trust to administer the estate. Executors, guardians, and trustees are given a large amount of control and responsibility and so it is extremely important that you make a wise decision regarding who you choose. They will be given the task of paying taxes, taking an inventory of the estate, seeing that the funeral is arranged according to the deceased's wishes, and more.
Benefits of Estate Planning
Before you make any decisions regarding estate planning, it is important that you first have an accurate picture of the benefits it could provide you. First, it will let you be in control of who will take care of any children or dependents if you are gone. It will allow you to stipulate what will happen to any property, real estate, bank accounts, or businesses. You can make arrangements regarding your funeral as well so that your family does not have to.
One issue that will have to be dealt with in regards to estate planning is tax planning. The estate tax, also known as the "death tax," will have to be paid before your assets can be distributed among your beneficiaries. Although in Texas these taxes having recently been removed, there are still federal taxes, which can take approximately 50% of your estate. In order to ensure that your loved ones receive as much as possible, you should allow a qualified attorney to look over your affairs.
Wise Distribution of Assets
In order to ensure that your financial goals are met after you pass away, you should consider creating a will, trust, or other type of legal arrangement whereby you are able to stipulate your wishes. If you do not take this step, then a court will have the authority to make this decision for you, a court which does not understand your case in the same way that you do. It is wise to handle how your assets will be divided in order for your loved ones' best interests to be upheld.
Why You Need a Will
If you have not already created a will, you may be wondering why you need to create on at all. There are many reasons why a will should be created as they can be designed for different purposes. If you have any dependent children or individuals with special needs who are in your care, it can allow you to choose a guardian to look after them should you die. It can also let you decide how your assets will be distributed once you pass away. If you do not create a will, the court will be the one to decide how your case is handled and they may not act in the way you would have wished.
Risks of Using Online Forms
One question that frequently arises is why you cannot choose to create your will online using a premade form. This may seem like a simple and inexpensive route to take; however, it does come with certain risks. When it comes to matters like how will care for your children if you die, you cannot rely on this type of will.
Family Limited Partnerships
When general partners share the responsibilities of management, this is known as a limited partnership. In a family limited partnership, nothing is different except that these partners are related. If you have a large estate, forming a family limited partnership could allow your assets to be protected from taxes and debts. If you would like to learn more about this and how it could help you, you should contact a member of our firm.
If you are planning on becoming married, none thing you should consider is creating a legal pre-nuptial agreement. Many people believe that this is only beneficial for those who have large incomes. However, it can be beneficial in every case as no-one knows what the future may bring. It can not only help you if your future should end, but it could bring clarity and transparency to the relationship regarding rights and responsibilities.
Business Continuation Planning
Many people wish to plan ahead for what will happen to their business after they die. Our team understands that you put a lot of work and effort into building a company and so you want to plan ahead for what will happen after you go. We could help you determine what your business is worth as well as stipulate what your long-range goals are.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
In the area of estate planning, wills, trusts, and business partnerships, you may be wondering how beneficial it would be to hire an attorney. As these cases can be complicated to say the least, having someone on your side who understands how these laws work can be extremely helpful. Not only that, but it can bring you peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order.
Contact my firm today to schedule your confidential consultation. I will be happy to answer your questions and offer you the tools you need to ensure the financial security of your assets and make certain your wishes for your family are followed through appropriate legal means.
Contact a Dallas estate planning lawyer
for sound legal advice regarding your estate planning