Estate Planning: Frequently Asked Questions

Please see our below listing of the more frequently asked questions regarding estate planning in Houston.  Our lawyers are happy to answer any additional questions you may have regarding a Will, Trust, medical directive, power of attorney or the probate process. 713-221-9088

What is estate planning?

Estate Planning is the general legal procedure to allocate your assets and handle your liabilities in a manner that will best benefit you tax-wise, but also protect your beneficiaries and heirs in obtaining the most benefits from your estate. It directs how your estate should be handled after your death and follows your specific requests for the care of minor children as well as your belongings. It usually includes a Will, Trust and other more specific instruments to maximize the value of your estate that is passed on to those you love. We also offer medical directives and powers of attorney.

Why do I need to bother with estate planning?

Many individuals who fail to leave a Will or Trust leave problems for their families. With estate planning you protect your assets as well as direct how they will be distributed. It also avoids long probates and even legal battles regarding children and other issues. It can and should be done at any point in your life. Even if you have done some estate planning in the past, but it has been years you have last addressed it, you should consider calling our Houston estate planning attorneys to determine if your estate planning is current and if it accomplishes your desires. Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers can greatly assist you in this regard.

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What is a Will?

A Will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is the properly executed instructions from an individual as to how they wish their assets, liabilities, business holdings and family are to be taken care of following their death. It allows a person to ensure that their wishes regarding important financial and personal issues are followed.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal system used in Texas to establish the validity of a Will or Trust before the court. When no Will is left, a state court will determine how to distribute your assets. Our lawyers can assist with instruments to avoid or minimize probate.

How can I avoid probate costs?

You can set up a revocable trust and put all your assets into it. You name yourself as the trustee and a trusted family member as your secondary trustee. You can spend the money while you are alive because you are the trustee. When you die, your secondary trustee takes over and uses the trust fund to care for your family as you directed. None of the estate goes into probate because it was technically not your property; it was the trust’s property. For assistance in setting up an appropriate Trust, contact us at 713-221-9088.

When I am dying, I just want to be made comfortable. I do not want heroic measures taken to keep me alive. How do I accomplish that?

You can have prepared a Living Will or Advanced Health Care Directive where you spell out your desires for the doctors. Our estate planning lawyers can greatly assist you in this regard. Contact The Larson Law Office for a complimentary case evaluation.