ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY
IN MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS
According to Caring.com's 2020 Estate Planning and Wills study, only approximately 32% of American adults have a will, trust, or estate plan in place. Having a detailed estate plan is crucial to prevent potential challenges when distributing assets to heirs or settling the final affairs of a deceased loved one. Notwithstanding how large or small your estate is, or how up-front your end-of-life care may seem, you can still protect your assets, investments, and loved ones by preparing for an uncertain future and creating an estate plan.
If you are thinking about drawing up a trust or will, or want to understand how the estate planning process works, consulting with a knowledgeable Texas estate planning attorney is crucial for detailed guidance. With years of legal experience representing clients in estate planning matters, I can help explore your estate planning options and guide you through every step of the entire process. As your legal counsel, I can offer you the detailed legal guidance and advocacy you need to draft various estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, advanced care directives, powers of attorney, or any special needs planning.
My firm, K.E. Bradley, Attorney & Counselor at Law, proudly serves clients throughout Missouri City, Texas, and the surrounding areas of Sugar Land, Katy, Friendswood, Pearland, and Fresno.
WHY ESTATE PLANNING IS IMPORTANT
When a person dies or becomes incapacitated, an estate plan can help identify beneficiaries and heirs, and outline how the estate's assets will be transferred to them. Here are some reasons why estate planning is important:
Preparation for an uncertain future
Choosing a trusted person as your personal representative
Protecting your property, assets, investment, and surviving family members
Helping make adequate provision for your surviving loved ones
Protecting your minor children and ensure that they are catered for
Ensuring that you have control over who inherits your assets
Avoiding family disputes and conflicts over asset distribution
Helping heirs and beneficiaries avoid or reduce estate and gift taxes
Avoiding the expensive and time-consuming probate process
Protecting your property and assets from creditors and lawsuits.
Ensuring that you don't die intestate (without a will)
IMPORTANT ESTATE PLANNING TOOLS
If you're considering drawing up an estate plan, there are several tools and documents to consider. Depending on your unique situation, here are some of the estate planning elements you may consider:
A will is a legal document that contains specific instructions regarding how your assets and property should be disposed of or transferred to inheritors upon your death. You are allowed to name a guardian in your will to protect, manage, and care for the affairs and interests of your minor children and any asset left behind for them.
A trust is a fiduciary relationship that exists when a person (guarantor or trustor) appoints a third-party (trustee) to manage their final affairs and help transfer assets to beneficiaries and heirs upon their death. A trust may include all the estate's assets, such as real estate property, investments, savings, bank accounts, and business interests. Upon your death or after sudden incapacitation, the appointed trustee steps in and administers your estate in accordance with the provisions of the trust document.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney gives an individual of your choice the power and duty to act on your behalf for legal and financial matters when you are incapable. The person may be your friend, attorney, advisor, or a trusted family member.
GUARDIANSHIP AFFIDAVIT /GUARDIAN OF ESTATE (CONSERVATORSHIP) FOR MINORS
Parents should think carefully before leaving their minor children as beneficiaries of their estate or life insurance policies. It is essential to also determine who will be his or her guardian and the trustee or guardian of their inheritance until they reach adulthood.
SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING
Special needs planning is a fiduciary relationship that allows a person to appoint a trusted person to handle and manage any asset, property, or funds intended for their minor child or an incapacitated adult who may not be able to otherwise manage such funds or assets themselves due to their condition.
ADVANCE HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE
An advance care directive is a legal document that provides specific instructions about a person's preferred medical care should they become unable to make such decisions by themselves, typically due to disability, sudden incapacitation, or terminal illness.
PERSONAL PROPERTY MEMORANDUM
The personal property memorandum is a document that allows a person to gift tangible personal property such as furniture, artwork, jewelry, and other items that may not be covered in their will.
LETTER OF INTENT
However, not all wishes or instructions can be written in the Will. The letter of intent allows a person to inform their surviving family members about various things you hope they do after your demise. The letter of intent can contain instructions, financial information, requests, and other important confidential information that may not be included in your will or trust.
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS YOU SHOULD HAVE
Some other documents to include in your estate plan include:
Birth and adoption certificates
Real estate deeds
Bills and account information
Life insurance policies
Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
Pension or retirement account information
WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY
Planning for the future or preparing for life's uncertainties can never happen too early. Should you become unable or unavailable to voice your opinion, your surviving family members can have peace of mind and benefit from knowing your true wishes. A knowledgeable Texas estate planning attorney can help protect your assets, interests, and help determine the right estate planning options that best fit your unique needs.
I have devoted my career to providing experienced legal services and comprehensive guidance to clients in a variety of different estate planning matters. As your attorney, I can help you understand your unique situation and explore your estate planning options. Using my extensive experience, I will determine the ideal estate plan that best suits your needs and help you make informed decisions. I will work diligently to address your needs and concerns and seek to provide answers to all the questions you may have.
ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY SERVING MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS
If you need help drawing up a trust, will, or estate plan, contact my firm — K.E. Bradley, Attorney & Counselor at Law — today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. I can guide you through the entire process step by step and offer you the knowledgeable counsel and advocacy you need to navigate critical decisions. I'm proud to serve clients throughout Missouri City, Sugar Land, Katy, Friendswood, Pearland, and Fresno, Texas.