Most people do not look forward to sitting down and going through the process of estate planning. After all, the point of the process is to make sure our family and our wishes are taken care of upon our death. An estate planning attorney can explain why it is so important to make sure you have a solid estate plan in place. Otherwise, the court will decide how your estate should be distributed based on Texas law.
There are many different tools that people can you for their estate planning. Two of the most popular are wills and living trusts. Both are good choices, but there are differences that you should be aware of. It is highly beneficial to work with a skilled estate planning lawyer in order to make sure the choices you make are the right ones for your situation and your family.
A will is a legal document that specifies how the decedent’s assets, property, and possessions should be disturbed when they die. Parents of young children often name who they wish to be the legal guardian in their wills, as well. Once a person drafts and signs a will, they have the ability to update and change their will at any time. There are many life events that occur where an estate lawyer in Cypress, TX will recommend a person readdress their will, such as the birth of a child, divorce, or death of an heir.
There are also some limitations that go along with a will and really hamper any control a person has on their estate once they die. There are also often significant tax consequences for the heirs of an estate if the only tool being used is a will.
Revocable Living Trusts
Many trust attorneys recommend adding living trusts to their clients’ estate plans. Living trusts provide much more control for a person over their estate, even after they have passed. When a person establishes a trust, they usually name themselves as trustee and have complete control over all of the assets they have in the trust. They will also name a successor trustee who will oversee the trust in the event they become incapacitated or when they die. A living will can be updated, changed, amended, or revoked as long as the person who created the trust is alive.
The person who is named beneficiary of the trust will not have access to the trust contents until the person who sets it up dies. At that point, the trust is closed out and the beneficiary gets the contents. However, you can also set up a trust so that the beneficiary is limited to how much of the contents they are able to access at any given time. In these situations, the successor trustee would oversee the trust.
For example, a parent whose adult child has a substance abuse or gambling problem can limit the amount of money the adult child is able to access, hampering their ability to spend the trust assets quickly. The beneficiary would have to go to the successor trustee to request funds.
Let an Estate Planning Law Firm Help
If you are ready to sit down and make out your estate plan, contact Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC to meet with one of our Cypress, TX trust administration lawyers. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.