Estate Planning Attorneys in San Antonio, Texas
Contrary to common belief, estate planning is not only for the wealthy. Regardless of how large your bank account might be, how old you might be, or whether you own a home or not, everyone has some form of an estate. Estate planning is a vital step in preparing for the future, regardless if you are approaching retirement or just graduated from college. Being prepared and minimizing the burden of our passing or incapacitation on those we care about is something we all want. Engaging an experienced team of San Antonio estate planning attorneys is the primary way to protect your loved ones.
The risks of not having the right documentation in place at your death or incapacitation can have far-reaching consequences, as well. From emotional pain and anguish to overwhelming financial liabilities, your surviving family may find themselves trying to process your death and facing costly probate processes to settle your estate. By having a prepared plan in place, not only will your instructions be followed, but you can shield loved ones from a drawn-out intestate experience or costly, drawn-out probate administration.
What Makes a Great Estate Plan?
There are many options available to our clients when planning their estates. Our team of estate lawyers brings the level of experience and knowledge necessary to structure these important documents correctly.
Trying to determine what makes the best estate plan for your situation? Bryant Law PC can educate you about the various options available for your circumstances. Assessing your assets helps us advise you on what estate planning products will provide you the best protection strategy. Many times, a comprehensive plan will incorporate several end-of-life preparation tools, including the following:
Our attorneys can help you draw a will to ensure your property goes to your designated beneficiaries when you die. It is also useful for appointing a guardian in the event of your death should you have minor children. While this approach to estate planning does not avoid estate taxes or the probate process, it will provide a guideline for the courts when distributing your assets.
The state of Texas allows for several different types of trusts to pass on your estate. Our estate planning attorneys can educate you about why these are an ideal solution for many of our clients, some of the reasons being:
- Directly transfer assets to beneficiaries and avoid the probate process
- Create a multi-generational legacy
- Minimize or avoid estate taxes
- Protect your assets from creditors after you die
- Provide further guidance if a trustor becomes incapacitated
- Customizable for special circumstances, like providing ongoing caring for a special needs child
Trying to determine which trust is ideal for your estate or unsure what types are available? Below are some of the most common trust options that families rely on to provide for their loved ones:
- Testamentary Trusts
- This trust gets formed under the terms of your will upon death but does not exist until then. You can modify it within the provisions of your will, and contingencies can be put in place to control its formation.
- Living Trusts (Revocable)
- A living trust allows you to maintain control of its assets throughout your lifetime. These trusts offer a more flexible approach and are easily modified as you reach new milestones in life, like the birth of a child or divorce unless it is an irrevocable form.
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Once this trust is created, you no longer have ownership of the assets it holds. It is irrevocable and unamendable once formed. This estate planning option requires careful planning with an experienced attorney. It may be an option if you want to protect your Medicaid eligibility or wish to prevent creditors from bankrupting your estate.
Planning for Incapacity
Planning for the future doesn’t just mean planning for after death. Taking steps now to prepare for possible incapacity can ensure your intentions are made known and followed in the event of your disability. Attorneys at Bryant Law PC can help you with a variety of estate planning methods to prepare for the unexpected.
- Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
- This form of power of attorney is provided for under the Texas Estate Code and lets you choose a representative to perform specified actions on your behalf. This is a useful and necessary estate planning measure if you become incapacitated, though medical and healthcare decisions do not fall under its authority.
- Medical Power of Attorney
- In situations where critical medical or healthcare decisions need to be made on your behalf because you cannot, a medical power of attorney can be one way you still have a say in what happens to you. This authorization allows someone to make these choices on your behalf.
- Advanced Directives (Living Will)
- By putting a living will in place, your doctor will have clear direction on what forms of life-sustaining treatments you do or do not wish to receive if you cannot communicate your wishes on your own.
- HIPAA Authorizations
- This authorization works hand in hand with living wills and medical power of attorney power. HIPAA authorizations make it possible for your doctors and insurance providers to share your healthcare details with an appointed representative you chose, which can aid in making decisions regarding your health should you be unable to do so yourself.
Why You Need San Antonio Estate Planning Attorneys
You may wonder if hiring our estate planning attorneys is really necessary or worth the cost. The answer is a resounding yes because of the strict legal requirements that govern estate distribution when you die. All too often, families end up litigating probate matters or not receiving the inheritance promised them because a signature was missing on a form or a will is not valid.
Outside of costly mistakes, several benefits come with working with the estate planning attorneys of Bryant Law PC including:
- Have Control of Your Estate
- Estate attorneys help you decide how your assets should be protected, including making it easy to modify your options later to account for new milestones in life. This flexibility makes it possible to keep control of your assets throughout your lifetime and avoids letting a Texas probate court decide for you.
- Avoid Financially Burdening Your Family
- When you plan your estate, you can work with our attorneys to create an asset protection strategy that minimizes tax liabilities for your loved ones, shields them from costly probate proceedings, and keeps creditors from helping themselves.
- Protect Your Children
- We never want to imagine our children alone in the world without us by their side, but the unexpected death of a parent can be made worse without an estate plan in place providing for them financially, emotionally, and physically. Designating who should care for them can make a difficult transition more bearable when you plan ahead.
Our Estate Planning Attorneys Protect More Than Just Assets
The estate planning attorneys at Bryant Law PC provide families throughout many South Texas communities with the peace of mind knowing they have created an estate plan that protects their loved ones. We work hard to ensure your assets are secure for the next generation. Contact us today to schedule an estate planning consultation.