Estate planning and probate law allow you to protect yourself, your family and loved ones now and in the future. A skilled Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer can use Wills, Trusts, Medical Directives, and Powers of Attorney, to fulfill your wishes and protect you and your family if you become unable to do so.
Below are some helpful links regarding Texas Probate issues from the Travis County Probate Court.
The Estate Planning
process may involve setting up legal documents and
non-probate assets to provide support for a spouse and minor
children, investment management, business operations, tax
minimization, or making sure you are cared for if you are
unable to care for yourself. Wills, trusts, life insurance
policies, and other estate planning tools not only allow you
to designate who will inherit your property and wealth when
you are gone, but can also make things much easier for the
people that you leave behind by allowing them to avoid
expensive and complicated legal procedures.
Without proper estate planning, loved ones who are left behind often face difficult decisions, huge expenses, long delays, and financial stress when going through the probate system. Without a will or trust in Texas, a deceased person's property will be distributed under Texas law and the property may pass to people the deceased did not intend to benefit.
This state directed distribution of assets can cause problems for surviving family members in several ways. For instance, because the surviving spouse does not always inherit the entire estate, parents and siblings of the deceased can inherit portions of property, such as the house the couple lived in. This joint inheritance of a house could prevent the surviving spouse from selling the property. Further, if minor children are involved, their interests in real estate can prevent the surviving spouse from selling or refinancing unless there is a court order or a designated guardian that approves the sale. This approval process can take quite a while and can become an impediment to selling a home in a timely manner.
In planning your estate and creating your will, there are several steps you can take to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible for your loved ones after your passing. For Instance, it is a good idea to make sure that there is an inventory of all important assets with approximate values and other pertinent information (account numbers & passwords) of all bank accounts, real estate, retirement funds, mineral interests, cash, and other valuables. It is wise to keep this inventory with the original copy of your will in a safe place. Without the original copy of the will, there is a presumption under Texas law that the will was destroyed by the testator or decedent and it can be thrown out of court.
When a family member dies it causes great grief, uncertainty, and financial stress for the surviving family. This is particularly true when no estate planning has been done. The last thing grieving family members want to deal with is a slow legal system, unexpected delays, bills, mortgages, and bank issues they had no idea even existed. Plan your estate now and save your family some money, prevent unnecessary legal battles, and make a future difficult time a bit less stressful for your family.
Austin Estate Planning Attorney Jason Coomer drafts Wills, assists in Estate Planning, and handles Probate Matters. For questions on Estate Planning, Wills, or Probate, please e-mail Austin Estate Planning lawyer Jason S. Coomer at email@example.com or use our contact form.
The Law Offices of Jason S.
406 Sterzing, Second Floor
Austin, Texas 78704