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Do I Need A Trust?

I frequently am asked by prospective estate planning clients, "Do I need a trust?" The answer is the classic one: It depends.
 
For some people a revocable living trust is a very smart estate planning tool, and for others it is a waste of money.
 
Trusts are promoted in a lot of random general literature that the public receives. They are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Whether setting up a living trust is a good idea for you should be discussed with an estate planning attorney who has full knowledge of your assets, family circumstances, and desires.
 
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Cost Of Drawing Up A Will VS. Probate Without A Will

Many people are afraid of drawing up a will and doing other estate planning because of the perceived high cost. The truth is, drawing up a will is a small cost compared to the cost of probate of an estate if you die without a will and own almost any property.
             


For a simple “Mom and Pop” will, where spouses leave everything to each other, if surviving, or on the death of the survivor to their adult  children, the cost is not likely to be more than $500 per person. Even if trust provisions are added to the will for possible minor beneficiaries, the cost is still likely around $750 per person.

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What Is The Legal Process To Divide An Estate If There Is No Will?

Families frequently come to me needing to know how to figure out who gets what when a loved one dies without a will. Unfortunately, the answer is that they may be in for a lot of expense and time in a very complicated legal proceeding.

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Should I Incorporate?

Is incorporation right for my business?

 

If you ask me whether you should incorporate or not, I will give you the typical lawyer response, “it depends”. Each situation is different and depends on many factors.

Three key factors that go into making the decision of whether to incorporate or not are:

  1. Liability Protection For Personal Assets

  2. Income Tax Pro’s & Con’s

  3. Business Management Pro’s & Con’s


Learn more about these three factors below.  

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Why You Should Start Estate Planning In Your 20's

Estate planning isn't just for rich or older individuals. Even young, asset-poor 20-somethings should start thinking about how their property will be distributed in the event of a tragedy. Drawing up an estate plan is not as much an action you need to take for yourself, but one you should take for your loved ones. 

Just like an older individual, a young, single person has as much need for a will to designate who would receive anything in the event of his or her death. Whether you have a little or a lot, without a will, the State of Texas will assume your parents should receive your estate. This may not be your preference. Therefore, creating an estate plan will help ensure your wishes are met.

In addition, in the event of your passing, a loved one would also have to spend a great deal of money to go through an estate administration process. If you draw up a will, you could prevent your parents from enduring this stressful, expensive situation.

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How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A Trust?

 

If you are considering setting up a trust, you are most likely wondering how much it will cost you. Unfortunately, the standard lawyer answer is “it depends.”

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What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? (Part Two)

This blog is part two of What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will. Part One discussed an Application To Determine Heirship  proceeding, the more formal court proceeding to determine heirs and order transfer of property.

Sometimes, we determine after a review of the assets of the deceased loved one that a more informal, less expensive “Affidavit Of Heirship” would be sufficient.

It is not always certain that third parties will accept the informal “Affidavit,” but because it is so much less expensive than the formal court proceeding, it may be worth trying this first.

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What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? (Part One)

Unfortunately, I get this call many times every day. If the property in the estate does not exceed the value of $75,000, not including the value of a homestead, a court proceeding called a “small estate affidavit” can sometimes be used. However, in most situations, this very simplified proceeding cannot be used. In those situations, there are generally are two options.

  • Application for Determination of Heirship (a court proceeding)
  • Non-court Involved Affidavit of Heirship

Which of these two options will be best varies with each situation, depending on the types of assets owned and the third parties who will be required to transfer the assets. Some third parties only will accept the court proceeding. Commonly, this could be brokerages and insurance companies. However, many third parties will accept the less expensive Affidavit of Heirship. Even title companies routinely accept an Affidavit of Heirship to transfer title to real estate unless there is a very large amount of money involved.

This is part one of What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? Here I will discuss the more formal application for determination of heirship.

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Why Parents Of Young Children Need Wills

Most young parents don’t want to even think about the possibility of death and see no need for estate planning. However, if a tragedy struck and both parents of minor children were killed, the situation left for their loved ones to deal with is extremely complicated, expensive, and emotional.

 

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Do I Need A Living Trust? [Estate Planning Q&A Video Series]

Many people have heard the term “living trust” and think it is a magical estate planning tool for everyone. For some people, a living trust truly is a smart way to handle their estate, but for others, it is an unnecessary expense.

 

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