Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill

Call Us Today


Estate Planning Archives

If I am single and getting older, do I need an estate plan?

Not everyone in Texas has a family or friends they would like to leave their assets to after their death. These people may think that an estate plan is unnecessary. This is a fundamental mistake that should be rectified as soon as possible because even single people should have an estate plan.

What should I know about a durable power of attorney in Texas?

There are many reasons why a Texan would need to consider the importance of drafting estate planning documents. One motivation could be that they have significant assets they are concerned about. Another reason might be that they own a business that they would like to remain in the family. Some other common incentives are because the individual is thinking about how they can use their assets to benefit their heirs or are possibly worried about what will happen to them if they become ill and incapacitated. In those situations, a durable power of attorney can be useful.

Legal help to preserve assets by transferring real estate titles

The goal for a Texan who is creating an estate plan is to ensure that the assets go to the heirs that he or she wants to get them and to maintain as much of its value as possible. This can be confusing to some, especially those who might have real estate but not a significant amount of it to know all the methods to maintain maximum benefit after asset distribution.

Estate planning documents must be updated as time passes

Texas residents who create an estate plan should remember that the document is not something that should stand on its own, never to be changed. The goal in an estate plan is to prepare for the future. However, circumstances in the present can fluctuate. Updating and ensuring that all the bases are covered is a foundational aspect of drafting estate planning documents. A comprehensive document might seem intimidating with everything that should go into it, but having a list of what needs to be shored up can be beneficial.

Family disputes over will settled before going to Texas court

In Texas, one of the main reasons that family disputes occur over a loved one's estate plan is if there was illness and changes were made to the document during the latter stages of the person's life. Since it is so imperative to have an estate plan - even a basic one - those who are considering whether they need one or not should pay attention to situations in which people end up pursuing litigation over an estate because of various issues. Even when these situations are settled without going too far, it is still important to think about all aspects of estate planning with help from an experienced law firm.

Estate planning to incorporate new assets like crypto is critical

Estate planning in Texas has grown far more complicated than it once was. With the number of different financial vehicles available in which people are willing to invest, online banking and the secret nature of much of these new investments, navigating an estate plan can be difficult for the testator when crafting the estate plan and for the loved ones after the testator has passed. One issue that is growing more concerning is "cryptocurrency," alternatively referred to as "crypto." When investing in crypto, it is imperative to understand how to ensure these assets do not simply disappear after the person has died.

New tax laws not the only reason to update an estate plan

Texas residents who were estimating how the new tax laws would affect them should know about the changes to the estate tax. The amount that is exempted has doubled to around $11.2 million for an individual and twice that for couples. While this is important to those with a large amount assets and who would like to ensure that the amount subject to tax is minimized, there are reasons to think about estate planning and periodically update documents regardless of the size of the estate.

Trusts are often preferable than simply willing assets to heirs

Texans who are crafting an estate plan might want to keep the document as simple as possible and give their heirs their inheritance immediately. This is especially true when the testator has adult children and believes they are of sufficient education, age and maturity that they can handle the inheritance which, in some cases, might be substantial. Leaving the assets to the adult children outright is what is frequently done. Trusts are generally perceived to be for children under the age of 18 and those who need special assistance. But trusts can also be valuable for adult children.

Common mistakes made when crafting living trusts

Estate planning strategies inevitably differ based on the individual's needs. Texans who are in the process of deciding what form of estate plan they want to use might be confused by all the available options. Trusts are a common method of estate planning. However, those who have a revocable living trust could be missing out on the advantages they can use with a living trust. Knowing those advantages is step one in utilizing and maximizing them.

Wills are often not enough for comprehensive estate planning

Responsible Texans will take the imperative steps to craft their estate plan to adhere to their desires and loved ones' needs. Many will think that they have done what is necessary to ensure their plan is airtight and covers all eventualities by having a basic will. However, mistakes are common when drafting estate planning documents. In many cases, the person will use the wrong estate planning vehicle to suit their needs. In others, they will not go as far as they should by stopping at a simple will without considering the possibility that other steps should be taken. Knowing when to go beyond a will is imperative with any comprehensive estate plan.