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McKinney Estate Planning Lawyers, Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC
The McKinney estate planning lawyers at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC can tell you that no matter your age, marital status, or station in life, you can benefit from basic estate planning. Estate planning involves developing a plan for how your property, debts, and other matters will be handled following your death. In most cases, a will is the primary document that expresses your wishes after death. A will can contain provisions regarding a number of important issues, including the following:
- Distribution of your property and assets
- Appointment of a guardian for your minor children
- Preserving the relationships between your surviving family members
- Funeral and burial arrangements
- Payment of your debts
If you do not execute a will and make specific provisions for these important issues, then state law will govern the decisions regarding these issues. This means that your property may not be distributed to the people or in the manner that you would choose. It may also mean that you would have no say in the custody of your children in the event of your untimely death, and foster care is the leading result. In Texas, if you have children from a previous marriage and fail to properly name your current spouse as beneficiary of your joint owned homestead, your surviving spouse will face the reality of becoming a joint owner in his or her homestead with your children from the previous marriage, or worse, potentially obtain no ownership in the home. As your McKinney estate planning lawyers know, failing to take necessary action to protect yourself and your family can cause devastating consequences for your loved ones, both emotionally and financially.
Failing to create a comprehensive estate plan can also result in significant financial burdens for your surviving family members. Without a properly drafted will, court appointed intervention is typically necessary in order to administer your estate, causing your family to pay even more in legal fees for court appointed attorneys. Even if you have executed a will, court intervention may be necessary if the will does not address certain issues. Resorting to the court may cost your family additional time and money in attorney’s fees, court costs, and taxes.
Taxes are a significant concern for surviving family members. If you own significant assets or property, your will may automatically be subject to probate or court proceedings, as well as certain estate taxes. The McKinney estate planning lawyers at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC can help you develop an individualized estate plan that most effectively minimizes your estate tax liabilities, and preserves your wealth for your loved ones instead of the IRS.
Trusts can also provide numerous planning benefits and are commonly integrated into the estate plans by our McKinney Estate Planning lawyers. Trusts not only serve as a great tax-minimizing tool (when used in the correct fashion), but they are also an excellent vehicle that allows you to distribute property directly to your family members in the amounts and manner that you choose, thereby preventing early and unrestricted access by young or irresponsible beneficiaries. Certain trusts can also prevent the necessity of court intervention after your death. This better positions your family members to deal with the grief instead of being burdened with unnecessary court involvement, legal fees and family feuds due to a lack of planning. Therefore, utilizing trusts in conjunction with with a will in your estate plan can help decrease taxes, attorney’s fees, and other normal costs of probate administration.
Contact our Collin County Probate Lawyers
Our Collin County probate lawyers will meet with you to assess and evaluate your current financial and family situation and develop a comprehensive estate plan that is customized to your family’s needs and wishes. Contact our office at (214) 726-1450 to schedule an appointment with April Nordhaus today.
Disclaimer: While our primary office is located in McKinney, Texas, Nordhaus Walpole provides legal representation to residents in the Allen, Frisco, Prosper, and entire Collin County area.