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What Is An Estate Plan?
An estate plan lays out your specific, detailed wishes regarding three significant areas of your life:
- The proper management of your assets while you are alive
- The proper distribution of your assets after you pass away or when you can no longer make independent decisions
- What should happen to your children or to your business after you pass away or when you can no longer make independent decisions
An estate plan essentially allows you to pass on your assets to your preferred family members when and how you want to. Without an estate plan, Texas state laws would control what would happen to everything you own and to everyone you care about if something were to happen to you. The court may prevent your family from taking ownership of your possessions until a complex court process known as probate has been completed, and who ends up with what may look very different from what you had originally intended.
If probate has to occur, your loved ones will receive less of your estate, as it will be depleted to reimburse creditors, cover taxes, and pay court fees. The process will also consume your family’s attention and time, and likely result in much stress on their part. It could lead to conflict, if your family isn’t clear about what your wishes were and disagrees with each other over how the estate should be distributed. Some families take years to recover from the financial and emotional strain of probate court.
It’s important to note that estate planning is more than just making a will. Many people think that having a will can protect their assets and keep all of this from happening, but a will is limited in what it can do. Wills can’t help you or your family if you are still alive but incapacitated, and wills still have to go through probate when you pass away; they make the process easier, but they don’t prevent it entirely. (And if the will contains mistakes or was created incorrectly, it may cause more problems than it solves). For that reason, our Webster estate planning lawyer encourages clients to design comprehensive plans that utilize other legal documents as well as your will, including trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, and more.
She can also help you gather other necessary documentation to include in your estate plan that will prove ownership of property, such as identity verification, insurance policies, financial information, etc…. all of which will strengthen your plan and guarantee that it will be able to bypass probate court.
Who Needs An Estate Plan?
Regardless of your wealth, status, or amount of properties, you should have an estate plan if you own possessions or if loved ones depend on you for financial support. An estate plan can give anyone peace of mind! There are certain people for whom it is especially important to make legal arrangements; people who have minor children, or who own/run a family business, or who care for a disabled dependent, or who have a blended family, have special considerations to make and more at stake that could be lost in probate court.
When Do You Need An Estate Plan?
The sooner you begin working on your estate plan, the better. Many people procrastinate getting their affairs in order because they think they’ll have more time when they get older, but life can change on a dime. No one is promised tomorrow! In an emergency, your loved ones should know your wishes so they can act accordingly.
Why Do You Need A Webster Estate Planning Lawyer’s Help?
Using an online template or advice you find online to create your own estate plan may seem affordable. However, the slightest mistake can render your estate plan useless. It requires extensive legal knowledge and experience to establish legally compliant, updated documents that will be effective when your family needs to use them most. Our estate planning law firm can take the guesswork out of the process and take care of all the paperwork for you, ensuring your plan is without error.
Why Choose The Law Office of Michelle E. Murphy For Estate Planning
Our lead attorney, Michelle E. Murphy, has over 20 years of experience serving as a Webster estate planning lawyer. She takes a personal approach to helping you navigate what can be a confusing and convoluted process, and she can serve you virtually to make this journey more convenient! Unlike many firms that dabble in many different areas of law, our firm only focuses on estate planning, and we are well-equipped to serve you no matter how challenging your needs or situation may be! Call today to schedule a free consultation where you can ask questions and learn about your next steps.
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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.
Why Choose Us?
20+ Years Of Experience
Personalized Attorney Attention