What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is an umbrella term which encompasses all the tools necessary to efficiently and cost effectively pass on the assets you accumulated in life.
The most common estate planning tools used are Wills and Trusts. These legal documents can vary greatly in complexity, cost, and formality. Thus, having an estate planning lawyer custom tailor your estate plan is critical in determining which of these tools is best for you.
At Third Coast law, we have experience in handling both simple and complex estates. Let us help you create a custom estate plan in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.
Intestate Succession... Avoid it!
In Texas, a person dying without a valid Will or Trust has the distribution of their estate governed by a set of predetermined laws commonly referred to as "intestacy." This means that who will inherit your assets and who will be the guardian of your children is set by a law that has no regard to your unique family structure.
The first step of intestate succession is for the court to have an heirship proceeding. This proceeding is used to determine the heirs-at-law of the decedent. It is a time-consuming process that requires all heirs seeking distribution from the estate to:
- file an application,
- post proper notice, and
- sign a sworn affidavit supporting their claim.
The court will also appoint an "attorney ad-litem" to represent all possible unknown heirs of the decedent and this attorney ad-litem's fee will come out of YOUR estate. Only after this is done can the probate administration begin, which could get dicey if there are unknown heirs trying to inherit....
However, this process can be completely avoided with a proper estate plan! Save your estate and loved ones from useless expenses and court fees by creating a Will or Trust. But more importantly, don't let the state and their predetermined laws decide who the beneficiaries of your estate are and what they are allowed to take. Instead, call Third Coast Law today and take control of your future.
Ready to find out more?
Take the first step to setting up your personalized estate plan today and give us a call at Third Coast Law!