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What is a will?
What is a trust?
A trust is a legal tool that transfers your assets from your ownership to the trust itself; it also provides for the transfer of those assets to a designated trustee. Unlike most wills, which only go into effect upon death or incapacitation, a trust can go into effect immediately after it is created. There are various types of trusts, including a revocable trust (can be altered at any time), an irrevocable trust (cannot be amended), a special needs trust (designed to help dependents with special needs qualify for aid), a charitable trust (benefits charities), and more.
Who needs a trust, and when should you make one – do you need to have both a will and trust?
Making a will & trust is an important part of the process some people refer to as estate planning, which is basically getting your affairs in order. Many people put off doing so because thinking about death can be uncomfortable. It’s not fun or convenient to plan ahead for the future, and it can be incredibly overwhelming, but the truth is that none of us know what tomorrow holds or how much time we have left. If you don’t plan ahead, you risk leaving our families not only without a clear idea of your wishes, but also in a difficult legal and financial situation.
If you don’t have a will and a trust, the government will take control over what happens to your assets and your family. Your estate will likely have to go through a Texas court process known as probate before your family can receive the inheritance you intended for them to receive, sell or move into your home, and otherwise gain legal possession of your property. Probate is a complex ordeal. It’s expensive (and will deplete the inheritance that your family will receive), time-consuming, and stressful for families who just want to grieve without a legal burden on their shoulders.
Many people are under the misconception that all they need is a will – that a trust is something only reserved for extremely wealthy people – but the truth is that everyone who owns property needs both. A will alone will still need to go through probate, so if you want to prevent that, having a trust is the best option! However, besides preventing probate, trusts have many other benefits, including reducing estate taxes, protecting assets from creditors, and guarding your family members from making poor financial decisions.
Why do you need a Houston will & trust lawyer’s help?
You could theoretically try to make a will & trust yourself. There are many online downloadable templates, particularly for wills, that you could use, and many online guides that provide instructions on where to start. However, there are a few problems with this approach.
First, it’s time-consuming. It could take you hours and hours to do the research, complete the paperwork, file it appropriately, etc.. Secondly, it may not be compliant – templates you find online may not be state-specific, and they are definitely not personalized to your specific family dynamics and financial situation. Lawyers study for years to be able to design effective wills and trusts because the law is that complicated. Making a trust, especially, is an especially complex endeavor. Any mistakes you make attempting to do it on your own could result in your will & trust turning out to be invalid when your family tries to use them, leading to the very outcome you were trying to avoid. That’s why it’s recommended that if you live in or near Houston, Texas, you enlist the assistance of a Houston will & trust lawyer who can ensure you have all your bases covered. An attorney will make sure your custom estate planning documents are created correctly, so you can focus on enjoying the present.
Why choose the Law Office of Michelle E. Murphy to draft your will & trust?
When it comes to matters as consequential and sensitive as getting your affairs in order, the attorney you choose to work with matters. Attorney Michelle E. Murphy understands how personal planning can be and takes an equally personal approach to legal advocacy. She cares deeply about your family’s future and your peace of mind, so she will take the time to get to know you in order to offer you the wisest advice and guidance possible. Her over 20 years of experience helping clients in Houston & beyond plan ahead can give you an advantage, and her ability to serve clients virtually provides convenience. She offers free initial consultations to clients so they can get to know her, ask questions, and learn more about wills and trusts. If you are ready to get started, call and schedule your free consultation today!
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Ms. Murphy made sure to use all of her resources and did everything legally possible to help me. She fought harder than other lawyers out there and found ways to make everything work in my favor. I really appreciate how she helped me and made me feel at ease under the worst circumstances. I recommend her highly.
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