The Woodlands Estate Planning Lawyer
Tailored Estate Planning Solutions in Texas
Securing the smooth transfer of assets and wealth to your loved ones is crucial for your family's future well-being. At The Michels Firm, we understand the significance of strategic estate planning. As dedicated Woodlands estate planning attorneys, we are devoted to assisting you in navigating the intricacies involved in developing a personalized estate plan that meets your needs.
Our Estate Planning Services
- Last Will and Testament
- Advise on Marital Property Issues
- Estate Administration (Probate)
- Disability Planning
- Business and Corporate Succession Planning
- Will Contests
- Family Settlement Agreements
- Special Needs Trusts
- Gift, Estate, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Minimization
What is Estate Planning?
Whether you realize it or not, you have an estate. It consists of everything you own, from your house and car to an old sofa. Regardless of what you own, you don't want your hard-earned money and assets to go to waste. You need a solid estate plan to prevent your lifelong wealth from spending months in probate or even going to people you would never give it to. Estate planning is arranging, during your lifetime, for the management and disposal of your assets upon death. At its core, planning determines where your assets will go upon death.
Key Reasons to Prioritize Your Estate Plan
There Are Countless Reasons Creating An Estate Plan Is Important, But The Top Reasons Include:
- Avoiding chaos/discord among those left behind
- Minimizing estate taxes
- Avoiding probate
- Protecting children from mismanaging their inheritance
- Asset protection for beneficiaries
- Asset protection for yourself
- Providing for a special needs family member
- Ensuring that philanthropic/charitable gifting goals are met
- Business formation and entity planning
- Coordination of beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement plan
- Recent marriage/divorce or other change in personal life circumstances
What Should an Estate Plan Include?
Crafting a robust estate plan is more than just outlining how your assets will be distributed. It involves careful consideration of various life scenarios and implementing measures to protect your well-being, family, and assets. Here's a breakdown of essential components that a comprehensive estate plan should include:
- Instructions for Incapacity: Specify how your care and financial affairs should be managed if you become incapacitated before passing away.
- Business Succession Planning: Provide for the seamless transfer of your business in the event of retirement, disability, incapacity, or death.
- Guardianship for Minor Children: Name a guardian to ensure the care and well-being of your minor children.
- Special Needs Considerations: Safeguard family members with special needs, ensuring they receive necessary support without jeopardizing government benefits.
- Financial Protection for Loved Ones: Address the financial needs of loved ones who may be financially irresponsible or need protection from creditors or potential divorce.
- Setting Boundaries for Beneficiaries: Establish limits for beneficiaries who may be vulnerable to substance abuse or other addictions, ensuring responsible asset distribution.
- Probate Avoidance: Eliminate probate court costs and unnecessary legal fees through strategic estate planning.
- Trust for Asset Control: For some clients, consider including a trust to maintain control over your assets after you're gone.
Embark on the journey of comprehensive estate planning to secure your legacy and protect what matters most to you.
Where Do I Start?
Once you have determined to move forward with your estate planning, you must inventory your assets. Don’t leave anything out! Take into account items with intrinsic value, such as property, vehicles, and fine collectibles, to Grandma’s diamond necklace or the hand-carved mirror that Great Grandpa Eddie made that’s been in the family for years. Once you begin taking an inventory of your assets, you’ll be surprised by what you come up with.
Then, identify who you would like to receive those assets after you pass. Do you have children that would need additional care? Would you need to appoint a guardian for your children? Would you need to appoint a caregiver for a family member who is the primary caregiver? What can you do now to preserve your income for your family? These are the types of questions you’d ask yourself to ensure that your family’s needs are met even after your death.
The next step is to contact The Michels Law Firm to discuss your estate planning needs. Legal documents are often needed for your plan to be put into action. We will partner with you to create a plan.
Navigating the Myths: The Truth About Estate Planning at Any Age
Your estate plan can be as intricate or minimal as you make it. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you do not need to do any estate planning if you aren't rich or elderly. That is not true. You don't have to be rich or elderly to need estate planning. Mr. Michels has worked with dozens of clients who thought they were too young to have the recommended estate planning documents, only to reach their later years and become incompetent – which substantially impairs their relatives' ability to manage their assets.
Unfortunately, we cannot predict how long we will live; illnesses and accidents happen to people of all ages. You will benefit from estate planning if you have assets like a house, vehicles, or collectibles. People put off estate planning because they think they do not own enough, they are not old enough, and it will be costly or confusing. They will have plenty of time to do it later. They do not know where to begin or who can help them, or they just do not want to think about it. Then, their families must pick up the pieces when something happens to them.
Another misconception is that an estate plan is permanent. Estate planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. You should review and update your plan as your family and financial circumstances (and the relevant laws) change over your lifetime. As your life changes, so does your estate plan. Marriages, divorces, births, and deaths, just to name a few, all affect your estate plan and are a signal that your plan should be updated.
Contact Our Estate Planning Attorney in The Woodlands Today
Crafting a robust estate plan is a thoughtful and caring way to safeguard your family's future. The Michels Firm is your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of estate planning. With our experienced team, you can be confident that your wishes will be respected and your legacy will endure.
Contact The Michels Firm today to schedule a meeting with our estate planning lawyer in The Woodlands!
The Michels law firm was very helpful to my family they were able to answer all of our questions and able to assist with my ...- Robin V.
Highly recommend using this law firm. They facilitated everything professionally and with great care.- Walter Y.
Joe Michels and I worked together on a number of cases as colleagues in a major firm. He is an excellent attorney who is ...- Robert Higgason, Litigation Attorney