Dossey & Jones Estate Planning Attorneys
Considering Creating a Trust or Will?
I don’t need an estate plan – I’m single, I don’t have any kids, or I don’t own much. We hear a lot of different reasons why people do not think they need to prepare a Will or Revocable Trust. Even if you are young or healthy, there is no way to predict the future. Estate planning is much more than just having a Will or Trust. Without an estate plan, the intestacy laws of the State of Texas determine who will inherit your property. Most of the time, it’s exactly who you would leave your property to anyway; but there is so much more to consider other than just who inherits your property. If you have assets and properties that will need to be protected after you are gone, there is nothing that should stop you from pursuing estate planning with the guidance of an estate planning lawyer at Dossey & Jones, PLLC, located in Montgomery County, Texas.
We can handle all types of estate planning cases for individuals in The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Montgomery, Houston and surrounding areas. Paige H. Jones is a board-certified estate planning and probate specialist with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Jim Dossey has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of management. Our firm has what it takes to get the best possible results!
Why You Need To Consider Estate Planning
There are countless reasons that estate planning is important, but some of the top reasons include:
- Avoiding chaos / discord among those left behind
- Minimizing estate taxes
- Avoiding probate
- Protecting children from mismanaging their inheritance
- Asset protection for beneficiaries
- Concerns about outliving their retirement
- Asset protection for yourself
- Providing for a special needs family member
- Ensuring that philanthropic / charitable gifting goals are met
- Business formation and entity planning
- Coordination of beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement plans with your estate plan
- Recent marriage / divorce or other change in personal life circumstances
In larger estates, estate planning is extremely important in minimizing estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. The IRS sets limits on how much each person can gift during their lifetime or pass at death without taxing the estate. Proper planning using testamentary trusts inside your Will can reduce the potential estate tax liability for your estate, which means more of your wealth is passed on to future generations.
Ready to begin with planning your estate? Fill out a case evaluation today!
How Wills & Trusts can Benefit You & Your Family
Wills and trusts are the foundational documents for estate planning. Fundamentally, they describe how your assets are distributed to your heirs when you pass away.
A last will and testament is a legal document that is a major part of the estate planning process because it discusses who is authorized to administer the decedent's estate, as well as how the estate is to be distributed. Having a last will and testament can remove a great deal of complication and stress from the probate administration process for the beneficiaries. When a person passes away and does not leave a will or trust, probate becomes much more complex, expensive, and time consuming. In our experience, probate without a will can be 3-4 times as expensive and will take much longer than if the decedent had a will. Additionally, you have no say in how your property is divided or disbursed when you don't have a will or trust. If you have specific ideas about how your assets should be distributed, such as giving a specific gift to a child or charity, this will not happen unless you have a will or trust.
What types of trusts exist?
As noted above, there are many different types of trusts available in the estate planning process. Some trusts, called inter vivos trusts, are created during your lifetime. Other trusts, called testamentary trusts, are created within your will. Selection of the proper type of trust depends on your specific circumstances.
Examples of common trusts are listed below:
- Revocable Living Trusts (RLT)
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)
- Gift Trusts for children and grandchildren
- Supplemental Needs Trusts for beneficiaries with special needs
- Contingent Trusts in a Will
- Lifetime Trusts for children
- Charitable Leads Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT) for gifts to non-US citizens
- Bypass Trusts (also known as Credit Shelter or A/B Trusts)
- Gun Trusts
Do you wish to create a trust that can help to safeguard your future? Contact us right away!
Powers of Attorney
Any comprehensive estate plan also includes planning for incapacity during your lifetime. In the event you are unable to handle your financial affairs or make your own medical decisions, a well-drafted power of attorney will name an agent to act on your behalf and will ease the burden on your family. If you become incapacitated and do not have a power of attorney in place beforehand, your family may be required to establish a guardianship with the courts.
Once you are incapacitated, it is too late to sign a power of attorney.
There are several types of powers of attorney that may benefit you, such as:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Property
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Physician's Directive (aka "Living Will")
- HIPAA Release
Fill out a case evaluation and provide us with the details of your situation for personalized advice or call Dossey & Jones, PLLC attorney or CPA today at (281) 410-2792! Serving clients throughout Texas, including Montgomery County, Harris County, surrounding areas such as The Woodlands, Houston, Spring, Conroe, Huntsville, Tomball, and Montgomery.