Estate Planning and Probate
Our estate planning attorneys at Edmondson Law, PLLC pride themselves on taking the time to learn the goals and objectives of our clients. We are dedicated to making sure that our clients understand what every document does and what role it plays in their estate plan. As estate planning professionals we take the time to incorporate our client’s goals and objectives into truly customized Wills and Trusts your family will appreciate.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process that typically takes place after someone dies. A Will is “proved” in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased. The actual legal steps themselves vary depending on a variety of circumstances. In some cases, the probate process under Texas law involves proving that a Last Will and Testament is valid or should be contested, disputed and invalidated. In other cases, the probate process involves identifying a decedent’s legal heirs.
The goal of probate and the reason for the legal process is to ensure the orderly and legal transfer of property from a decedent to the person or persons entitled to receive the property. In other words, the executor has to work with the court to be sure everything stipulated in the Will is carried out. In Texas, state and local court rules govern the various time periods that the executor must follow in probating a Will.
Our Probate Practice
Edmondson Law, PLLC attorneys, offers an experienced representation of clients in both routine and difficult probates. We understand it is hard to lose someone you love and then become overwhelmed with the financial and legal complexities resulting from a probate. The probate process can be very difficult for families. We are here to ensure a smooth probate process, and make it as simple, efficient, and understandable as possible. We also want to ensure the protection of our clients by making sure all legal requirements are met.
Wills and Trusts
Wills and trusts are instruments used to transfer your assets to the people you choose after you die. Putting together a will and trust can be difficult, but it can give you peace of mind.
At Edmondson Law, PLLC, we will draft a last Will that outlines your wishes and meets your needs. We will help you put in place the basic elements that every simple Will needs, and then we will add to it and fine-tune it to your situation. Every family and their needs are unique. Everyone should have a Will. Whether you need to appoint a guardian to take care of your minor children or disabled family members, or you want to establish how your estate should be distributed, your Will can be what you need it to be.
A trust, more formally known as a revocable living trust, is a legal entity set up to control your assets. To create a trust, you first set it up, and then take all of your assets – your house, your car, your property, your accounts – and re-title them in the name of the trust. While a Will only takes effect once you die, a trust is set up while you’re alive. By having a trust in place, you maintain control over how your assets are distributed when you die rather than having the State of Texas decide how your property will be divided. A trust can be a good choice if you want to make sure your assets pass in a specific way. Trusts are attractive because they allow Trustors to avoid the time and expense of probate. Trusts allow Trustors to keep their financial affairs private following death, as Wills are filed with the court and become public record.
Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Your Financial Matters
A power of attorney is a legal document in which one person gives another person the power to manage the principal’s financial affairs or to make health decisions on their behalf.
A Power of Attorney for Healthcare is a legal document that names a trusted person to make healthcare decisions for you in a time you cannot. This ensures that your wishes, concerning medical treatment, are met. This is attained by naming an adult advocate that represents your best interests in the time you cannot make medical decisions for yourself.
Power of Attorney occurs in such cases, if you are under anesthesia, suffer from a mental illness, or if you are in a coma. Once your doctor has certified (in writing) that you are incompetent to make healthcare decisions, Medical Power of Attorney comes into effect.
Under Texas law, this is when you lack, “the ability, based on reasonable medical judgment, to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of a treatment decision, including the significant benefits and harms of and reasonable alternatives to a proposed treatment decision.” Texas Health and Safety Code §166.002(4).
Financial Power of Attorney
This is a trusted person you designated to act on your behalf regarding financial matters, for example, withdrawing money from your bank account or signing papers for you at a real estate closing. A Power of Attorney can become effected immediately or upon the occurrence of a future event. You should consult with one of our attorneys when preparing a Financial Power of Attorney to ensure that it reflects all of your wishes and needs.
The person you name may be a spouse, another family member, friend or member of a faith community. Even if you have other legal documents regarding your affairs, not all situations can be anticipated, and some situations will require someone to make a judgment about your wishes. So, choosing the right person is important. Our attorneys are here to assist you with understanding legal documents and answer any questions you have.
Living Wills have to do with your medical affairs, and what kind of life supports treatment your physician can administer in case of terminal illness or injury, in the event you cannot communicate your wishes. You will need to appoint one or more health care “proxies.” These are people you trust who will communicate your end-of-life decisions to medical personnel.
Living Wills do have limitations, but our skilled attorneys will help you understand the terminology and guide you through the process. Edmondson Law, PLLC, attorneys are here to discuss your options.
Edmondson Law, PLLC Services
- Muniment of Title- It allows the transfer of estate property to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will without the need for estate administration.
- Letters Testamentary- The Texas Probate Code states that when a will has been probated, the court grants letters testamentary to the executor or executors appointed by the will if they are willing to accept the trust and qualify according to law.
- Heirship Proceedings- Put in place when a person in Texas dies without leaving a will.
Our attorneys at Edmondson Law, PLLC understand that planning your estate can be an overwhelming process. Call us today to speak with a professional and trusted attorney.