Texas Estate Planning Lawyers
At its most basic level, comprehensive estate planning provides instructions to be carried out upon incapacity or death regarding the management and disposition of your assets, your healthcare decisions, and your end-of-life wishes. It allows you to appoint someone you trust to take care of your loved ones as well as you and your affairs after something happens to you.
At Anderson Estate Planning in McKinney, Texas, we can construct an estate plan that administers and distributes your assets in an orderly fashion, avoids probate, minimizes taxes, and provides for your chosen beneficiaries in the manner you desire.
Your estate plan must be constructed to address your specific family dynamics and your unique desires. When working with our legal team at Anderson Estate Planning, you will benefit from decades of experience concentrated solely in the areas of estate planning and asset protection.
Call us at (469) 207-1529 to schedule an initial consultation.
What Are Your Estate Planning Objectives?
Implementing a comprehensive estate plan serves several purposes:
- Taking care of your loved ones: If you don’t have an estate plan, state law determines the distribution of your assets when you die. An intestate distribution (i.e., without a will) might not reflect your wishes. For example, you might want to give assets to your children from a previous marriage, non-immediate family members, or other individuals. An estate plan gives you complete control over who takes ownership of your property upon your death.
- Avoiding the probate process: The probate process can create unnecessary costs as well as disputes among family members. Living trusts and proper use of beneficiary designations (i.e., naming a trust as beneficiary) are estate planning strategies that can avoid probate.
- Ensuring proper asset management: Asset mismanagement is common after someone passes away. If you own a business or property portfolio, you should ensure that someone knowledgeable and trustworthy will manage the assets during the probate process and while they are being transferred to your desired beneficiaries.
- Minimizing tax obligations: Many states have no estate tax. However, comprehensive estate planning also minimizes (and in most cases eliminates) estate taxes at the federal level. Other federal tax obligations (e.g., gift taxes and capital gains taxes) also can be resolved by comprehensive estate planning. In the final analysis, you want to utilize legal strategies that minimize taxes and maximize the assets you pass to your loved ones.
- Eliminating estate taxes on life insurance: Life insurance proceeds may be subject to estate taxes. “Irrevocable life insurance trusts” (ILITs) eliminate those taxes and prevent your death benefit from going through probate. An ILIT also ensures insurance proceeds are handled according to your wishes. Because they are irrevocable they are not easy to modify or terminate. ILITs are a complex estate planning strategy that has significant tax consequences and should be formed with the assistance of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
- Asset Protection and Tax Reduction: It is often practical to form a family limited partnership (FLP) to hold family businesses, real estate, or other assets for legitimate business purposes. However, enhanced creditor protection, significant tax reduction, and improved succession planning are other legitimate reasons to create an FLP. Assets held in an FLP may include businesses, real estate, intellectual property, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, stocks, and bonds. Other high-value personal assets such as jewelry, art, and other collectibles can also be protected in a family limited partnership.
Our Estate Planning Solutions in Texas
At Anderson Estate Planning, we offer all the estate planning services you need.
- Wills: Most people think they “appoint” an executor when they sign their last will and testament. You have no legal authority to appoint anyone as your executor. Your will merely expresses your wishes regarding your preferred executor. A probate judge must issue a court order appointing your executor. The court may disqualify your preferred executor for multiple reasons. After an executor is appointed, they are empowered by the court to settle your affairs and distribute your assets to the beneficiaries you’ve designated in your will. Your will also declares your wishes for guardians of any minor children.
- Trusts: Contrary to popular belief, trusts are not only for the ultra-wealthy. Trusts establish a “family-based” estate plan as opposed to a “court-based” plan. In a trust, you dictate who controls your assets and decisions upon death or incapacity. All of your wishes are accomplished without any court involvement because property attached to a living trust is not subject to the probate process when you die. A living trust also can avoid a “living” probate while you are incapacitated (i.e., your “backup” trustees administer the trust for your benefit).
Contact us at Anderson Estate Planning to determine the legal strategies necessary to eliminate or reduce federal taxes.
Planning for Incapacity in Texas
If you lose the ability to communicate, powers of attorney and advance directives are critical. They designate someone to make financial, legal, and healthcare decisions for you if you lose the ability to communicate your wishes. They also contain your preferences regarding your own end-of-life decisions. Our legal team can help you understand and implement a legal plan that addresses all these matters and more.
Get in Touch with Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Texas Today
At Anderson Estate Planning, we understand and provide personalized solutions to deal with issues regarding federal estate, gift, and capital gains taxes. We implement comprehensive estate planning strategies to safeguard your financial and healthcare objectives and take care of those you cherish.
Call us today at (469) 207-1529 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.