Dallas Wills and Trusts Attorney
Death affects people in a number of ways. As families cope with the loss of a loved one, relationships, values and judgment are tested. A valid Last Will or Trust prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney can help to insure an orderly and intended transfer of your estate.
At The Hale Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients preserve their legacy. Wills and Trusts are not just for the rich. They are for people who care about their family. We can help you determine whether a Will or Trust is right for you.
If you die intestate – meaning without a valid Will or Living Trust – your assets will be distributed according to state law. In Texas, this is somewhat complicated as property is distributed differently depending on its classification as either community or separate, real or personal, and whether or not the deceased individual was married or had children from a prior relationship.
Dying intestate is a recipe for disaster for blended families, minor children, and disabled heirs. In addition, intestate estates are often difficult and hence, more expensive, to settle.
Last Will and Testament
Our estate planning attorneys at The Hale Law Firm prepare all types of Wills including:
- Simple Wills
- Pour-over Wills used in conjunction with Living Trusts
- Wills with contingent trusts and guardianship appointments for minor children
- Wills with testamentary trusts for adult children to accomplish asset protection objectives
- Wills with Special Needs Trusts for disabled beneficiaries to preserve public benefit eligibility
- Wills with bypass trusts to minimize federal estate taxes
- Wills with pet trusts
When preparing Wills for clients, we routinely prepare the following ancillary documents at no additional charge:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Directives to Physicians (Living Will)
We offer our estate planning services on a flat fee basis. We encourage you to call today for a free initial consultation.
A common theme among clients is the desire to avoid probate. A properly funded and managed Living Trust can eliminate the need for probate, providing the privacy and continuity of management sought by many families.
A Living Trust is a revocable trust that can be changed by the trust creator or grantor during his or her lifetime. The grantor is also the lifetime beneficiary and, in most cases, is the initial trustee. Upon the grantor’s incapacity, death, or resignation, a successor trustee, often a child or corporate fiduciary, assumes responsibility for the trust’s administration. After the grantor dies, the trust property is distributed outright to the beneficiaries or held in trust to be invested and distributed according to its terms. At this point in time, the trust becomes irrevocable and can provide asset protection to the beneficiaries.
Importantly, the trust agreement only controls the investment and distribution of trust property. Therefore, it is important when using a Living Trust to make sure that the trust is properly funded and to check all investment account beneficiary designations to make sure they are correct. This involves deeding property into the trust, updating financial accounts, and assigning personal property.
If you are interested in learning more about our Wills and Trusts services, call us today for your free initial consultation.