Wills Attorneys in Houston Safeguarding Your Family’s Future
There are a great number of things life throws at us, and one of those is death. We can’t control it, and we never know when it’s going to happen.
When you think about planning for end-of-life, what comes to mind? Most people share the same question, which is how to ensure their families can manage without them, financially and otherwise.
Protecting your family’s future with a will is one step you can take to control the unexpected in the event of a debilitating medical injury that changes your quality of life or your death.
Whether you’re young, single, married, have kids, have a lot of assets or only a few belongings, it’s never too soon to protect your assets with a will and estate plan
Take a small leap and start coming up with a plan for your will with the help of our wills lawyers: 281-214-6541.
What is a Will?
A will, also known as a “last will and testament,” is a legal document that outlines your final wishes, funeral arrangements, and how you would like your assets distributed upon your death.
When you establish a will, you assign a primary executor to facilitate your will and distribute your assets according to your instruction. A will only go into effect after death, never before.
Additionally, if you have any minor children, a will is an important legal step in making sure your children have a guardian and are taken care of your in your absence.
There are four types of wills, including:
- Simple will: A simple will highlights who will inherit your assets and belongings after your pass away
- Testamentary will: A will that is used to transfer holdings in an estate to other people or organizations after death
- Joint will: A joint will is used to pass along an estate to a spouse first, then any children. Joint wills are sometimes used in business relationships to pass along commercial property or business assets.
- Living will: For life-sustaining procedures, feeding tubes, and other end-life care needs, a living will allows a person and its executor to make critical decisions when illnesses or situations become terminal.
Our wills lawyers specialize in holistic estate planning, which is a proactive approach to protecting your most cherished assets.
What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
Depending on your goals and desires for your family and how simple or complex your overall estate is, a will is not the only piece of the legal puzzle when it comes to planning for your future.
A comprehensive estate plan covers multiple bases and includes a will, a trust, and other important legal documents to protect you and your family from future legal hassles.
Here is a closer look at both a will and a trust and how they differ:
- A will is a legal document that spells out how you want your affairs handled and assets distributed after you die. A will includes basic personal information, a letter of intent, wishes for funeral arrangements and other personal wishes and desires, an appointed executor, an appointed guardian for minor children, and a list of property with beneficiaries.
- A living or revocable trust is a private fiduciary agreement that becomes effective immediately, unlike a will that only goes into effect after you die. A named trustee (which may be you, your spouse, or a third party) preserves and manages the trust while you’re alive, in the event you become incapacitated, and distributes assets after your death. You also can avoid taxes with a trust.
A will is the first basic step every person with any assets they want to protect should take in the estate planning process, while a trust allows you to move assets in and out during the course of your life. Upon death, all assets in a trust will be distributed according to your wishes and without probate court involvement.
A trust will save your family time, money, and legal headaches.
How Does Estate Planning Fit?
Your estate, part of estate planning, is every valuable asset you own, from vehicles, businesses, properties, investments and savings accounts, and personal belongings. Estate planning also covers a plan for your minor children and who will care for them in your unfortunate absence.
Estate planning is the overarching process of asset protection and how to protect your assets, from your family members to your business to your personal belongings. Plus, it goes into greater, more specific detail as to how medical situations should be handled.
The five most essential components of an estate plan include:
- Last will and testament
- Living trust
- Durable power of attorney (POA)
- Healthcare power of attorney (POA)
- Living will
At a minimum, an estate plan should include a last will and testament and a durable power of attorney. Adding a trust and additional medical directives will ensure your family has a clearly outlined plan that’s designed in your best interest and protects your family’s future at the same time.
These are all critical decisions and steps our estate planning attorneys with wills and trust expertise can help you navigate based on your ultimate goals.
Why Book a Free Consultation with a Wills Lawyer?
Our wills lawyers with The Hatchett Law Firm have hands-on experience in helping families in every stage of life get clarity around important goals and financial needs for themselves and their loved ones as part of the estate planning process.
As part of helping you prepare for the planning stage, now that you have a better understanding of your potential options, you can start by gathering information about your current situation that might be helpful in a free consultation with one of our wills lawyers, including:
- What you currently have, or any debts you owe
- Potential fiduciaries
- Plan for children and dependents
- Special needs children and any specific arrangements or plans
- List of final wishes
- Potential legal guardians
We can give you clarity, peace of mind, comfort, and security when you create a will, trust, or larger estate plan with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys at The Hatchett Law Firm. Our goal is to make your life a little lighter right now and your family’s easier and burden-free in the future.
We always put families first at The Hatchett Law Firm. Book a free consultation today: 281-214-6541.