Austin Texas Estate Planning Attorney
Every Texan has an estate. Some estates are modest. Some estates are significant. Either way, everyone needs to make some sort of estate plan. Your plan can be as simple as a Will. If you have amassed more assets or learned about the value of avoiding Probate, then maybe it’s time to get you and your family a ‘Living’ Revocable Trust. Creating your personalized estate planning strategy and necessary documents can be easy with the skilled help of Austin estate planning lawyer, Richard Cahan. It starts with a phone call or text to Richard at (512) 829-6100.
Getting your Will or trust prepared is so important. You know that. Down deep, when asked, it seems everyone knows, but hey…, we are all guilty of procrastination – even lawyers.
What Goals Should Proper Estate Planning Accomplish For Someone?
The number one goal of proper estate planning is to distribute assets in accordance with the decedent’s wishes, and to do so as efficiently as possible…Read More
What Are The Different Types Of Trusts? What Are Their Purposes?
Unless a person has a lot of assets, trusts are not overly useful in Texas. However, special needs trusts can be useful for ensuring that a child or adult person can receive an inheritance without losing government benefits. Trusts can also be helpful in protecting assets from creditors. In my view, having a living trust is like creating a corporation for oneself, which means it requires consideration of a number of things, such as the potential of additional taxes. Aside from avoiding taxes, the biggest consideration is one of privacy. For example, if someone were to put their home in a trust, then they might have to deal with property tax questioning and other added layers of complexity. For most Texans, trusts simply aren’t necessary…Read More
Who Needs Estate Planning Documents?
As we get older, some of us marry and have children; single or married, many buy a house, vacation property, vehicles, boats and other assets. Those accumulating assets are at risk of not going to the people we want them to if we never make our wishes known — in writing — legally. Sharing ‘who gets what’ verbally is a recipe for problems you won’t be around to referee. Estate planning attorneys get daily calls from family members and distant relatives bickering over old promises, hearsay, assumptions, and wanting to make legal claims on “their share” of “their rightful inheritance”. Many people who call our office haven’t seen their relative in decades but saw a Facebook post that a relative has passed away and now ADAMANTLY want to make a legal claim against the estate of their precious relative. Don’t allow such chaos to descend upon those who most matter to you!
What Comprises a Person’s Estate?
Your estate is comprised of everything you own – including your home, other real estate, your vehicles, checking account, savings accounts, investments, life insurance, household furnishings, gun collection, jewelry, and personal possessions. Estate planning is planning ahead of time in case you are incapacitated by a stroke, heart attack or car accident, and need family members and doctors to know how you want to be cared for. You specify who will make decisions for you if you are unable and if you want heroic life-saving measures to be employed – if you want to be on a ventilator if brain dead, for example. Should you die, your estate plan specifies whom you designate your assets be transferred to. If you fail to make a Will or other valid estate plan, a disinterested state Probate Judge might distribute your money and property to people you never intended.
EXAMPLE – Many Texans Are Known for Their Guns
Common Texas Dilemma – Consider you have 3 kids and own one or more guns. If you become incapacitated or are tragically killed this week, do you want your guns to go to your eldest child — just because he or she is the oldest and assumed that’s what you’d want — or, would you want them to be legally transferred to a trusted friend instead? Those of us who have kids, know that no matter the age of our kids, each child is fundamentally unique! Our kid’s personalities could never have been projected or forecast before they were born. Kids are wonderful and unique creatures! Some are simply not ready –or may never be ready– for the responsibility of inheriting a gun.
Your Will and Estate Planning Documents Make Sure Your Desires Are Carried Out
Your estate planning documents make certain that your wishes and desires are carried out. Responsible people don’t voluntarily leave a big savings account to a family member fighting a substance abuse problem. Nor would we willingly leave a gun to a family member with no experience or who just isn’t mature enough to own weapons. That favorite piece of jewelry a distant relative has always assumed was to be theirs – what if that’s not what YOU want to happen? We can make a clearly written, caring and compassionate plan that will take everyone’s feelings into consideration should they ever need to read your actual words pertaining to them — a document that directs the distribution of each of your more important assets to the people YOU choose. This process is simple (with Richard’s help) and cost-effective. Moreover, you can finally cross that long-procrastinated BIG ‘to-do item’ off your bucket list.
Your Will and/or trust makes your explicit desires known, including for example, who any weapons go to, who gets your fishing boat, who gets granddad’s coin collection, or who will get that diamond tennis bracelet. Estate planning can be quick, simple, and painless with the right lawyer to guide you. Take a minute right now to call or text an experienced Austin area estate planning lawyer. You don’t even have to leave home to drive to our office. Most of the initial work can be done remotely. Richard can exchange drafts of your estate planning documents back and forth by email until your documents read exactly the way you envision. When all is to your liking, you are welcome to come to the office to formally sign your documents –or– as we so often do, we can meet you at your home, your office, your hospital room, or your local Starbucks — that’s how easy the estate planning process can be.
Austin Probate and Estate Planning attorney, Richard Cahan, is a soft-spoken, compassionate, lawyer you will feel totally at ease with.
Richard will make a seemingly difficult process easy and straightforward. Richard will help you choose the best possible estate planning documents you need tailored to your unique circumstances. He is not here to “supersize” his fees and your costs. If a simple Will and a few companion documents is all you need at this phase of your life, Richard will quickly get you and your loved ones protected. When you amass more assets in the coming years, then you can drop in again for a Will ‘tune-up’ or graduate to a more powerful Living Trust when it becomes the next logical progression. Such a living trust provides many cool features, but the most sought-after benefit is that your surviving family members will not have to deal with the government because a Living Revocable Trust can completely avoid State Probate. We are here to serve you: to earn your respect and trust.
No Need to Drive to Law Office – We Can Work Remotely
In today’s age where your dinner is delivered by DoorDash; your new clothes delivered by Amazon Prime Wardrobe; your refrigerator stocked by the local supermarket as you watch the delivery person ‘live’ on your phone, most estate planning services can be done remotely by phone and email as well. Estate planning done in person –or remotely– either way, you will receive sophisticated, top-drawer legal services by Austin estate planning attorney Richard Cahan.
Expedited Wills and Trusts Quickly Drafted – Delivered Where Needed
We routinely handle URGENT ‘last minute’ requests for estate planning documents. If you or a loved one is the ICU following an accident, unexpected illness or booked for major surgery, Richard can be there for you. Attorney Cahan is acutely aware many Wills, Living Trusts, and Health Care Directives are urgent and needed as soon as can be drafted for signature. Those signatures can take place and be witnessed in a hospital room if necessary. Call Richard. This is all part of our estate planning services we offer individuals and family in and around Austin. We want to me of service and honor your needs – even should the time frame be urgent.
Typical Estate Planning Documents Every Texan Should Consider:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates
For those with many assets or complex family structures, a more advanced Texas estate plan might be necessary. Trusts take some more steps than a Will but are smoother in the distribution of one’s assets and often keep the government (probate court) out of private personal and financial matters. Trusts are useful for (1) avoiding any Probate, (2) offer additional layers of protection from creditors, (3) for wealthy families, can reduce taxes, (4) can safeguard assets from Medicaid if planning is far ahead of a future nursing homestay.
Some of the estate planning documents used for more advanced estate planning include:
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Testamentary Trusts
- Educational Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Special-Purpose Trusts (including the popular Texas NFA Gun Trusts)
- Spendthrift Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Crummey Trusts
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*Most Consultations Free Of Charge