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McKinney Estate Planning Lawyers
Unlike some other firms, estate planning is not a sideline practice at Nordhaus & Nordhaus, PC. Here, it is one of the cornerstones of our firm. Effectively planning an estate is a process that goes far beyond simply preparing a set of documents. Preparing a thorough and personalized estate plan begins with a conversation with one of our McKinney estate planning lawyers about your personal goals and wishes, followed by a discussion of pertinent family matters and a detailed financial analysis.
The process does not end until the plan has been fully implemented, from signing documents to re-titling assets and updating beneficiary designations. By looking at the entire picture, we are able to craft tax-efficient estate plans that maximize each individual client’s ability to adapt to changes during their lives while making things easier for their family after death.
Everyone Needs an Estate Plan
Despite common misconceptions, everyone needs an estate plan. Many people seem to think that you only need an estate plan if you are rich. But, while wealthy individuals may require more complicated strategies to address issues like federal and state death taxes, even the "not-so-rich" must carefully plan for the distribution of their property and appointment of guardians for their children. A simple will may be all the estate plan you need, but it is still extremely important. Starting out with a simple will is an excellent way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Our simple wills are flexible documents that can be amended as your family grows and changes over time.
When Should I Contact McKinney Estate Planning Lawyers?
If you are like most people, when you think about estate planning, you think about how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. While distributing your assets is undoubtedly one of the primary purposes – and perhaps even the primary purpose – of having an estate plan, it is by no means the only reason why it is important to have an estate plan in place.
Some of the other important reasons to prepare an estate plan with our McKinney estate planning lawyers include the following:
1. Appointing a Guardian for Your Minor Children
If you die before your children reach age 18, who will take care of them in your absence? If you do not make arrangements in your estate plan, the unfortunate reality under Texas law is that they may end up in foster care. To make sure you know and control who will take responsibility for raising your children should you no longer be around to do so, it is critical to appoint a guardian or consider an alternative to guardianship as part of the estate planning process.
2. Preserving Relationships Between Your Family Members
Whether it has to do with property, children or any of the other issues that can arise in the wake of an untimely death, without a clear plan to follow surviving family members will often end up in a dispute. While their dispute may not lead to litigation, emotionally-charged disagreements can often divide families and strain relationships to such an extent that things are never truly the same. By making sure you have a comprehensive estate plan that clearly communicates your final wishes, you can help your loved ones preserve their relationships and come together instead of creating new divides.
3. Arranging for Payment of Funeral and Burial Expenses
Another example of the type of issue that can lead to rifts among family members is making arrangements for funeral and burial expenses. For a variety of reasons, family members often have very different ideas about how their loved ones’ funerals should be handled and what is an appropriate amount to spend to honor their loved ones and put them to rest. To protect your family members from having to make these difficult decisions, the best thing you can do is take the process out of their hands.
4. Paying Your Debts with Our McKinney Estate Planning Lawyers
If there is a chance that you will leave behind debts, your estate plan should provide for payment of these debts as well. Do you need a life insurance policy to protect your loved ones? Which assets should your executor use to satisfy your obligations? These are just two of the many questions you will need to answer with regard to paying your debts during the estate planning process.
Our Texas Estate Planning Services
As McKinney estate planning lawyers, we utilize numerous different types of estate planning tools and techniques to protect our clients’ interests. When we meet with you about your estate plan, we will help you understand which of the following are right for you:
- Wills & Trusts
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Directives
- Living Wills
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Generation-skipping Trusts
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Gifting Strategies
- Asset Protection Strategies
- Business Succession Planning
- Tax Planning
- Insurance Planning
- Special Needs Planning
In many situations, crafting an estate plan will involve using a number of these tools in combination. For example, revocable living trusts are popular estate planning tools due to the flexibility they provide and their ability to avoid probate. If you choose to use a living trust, you will also need at least a simple will (to cover guardianship issues and any property not transferred into the trust prior to your death), and you may want to consider a living will for healthcare planning, certain irrevocable trusts and other asset protection and insurance strategies as well.
Speak with the McKinney Estate Planning Lawyers at Our Firm Today
If you would like to speak with one of our McKinney estate planning attorneys, we invite you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in McKinney, Texas on S. Lake Forest Drive. To get started with your estate plan, contact us online or call (214) 726-1450 today.
While our primary office is located in McKinney, Texas, Nordhaus & Nordhaus provides legal representation to residents in the Allen, Frisco, Prosper, and entire Collin County area.