Trusted Help With Estate Planning And Probate
For individuals with sizable estates and/or complicated family dynamics, protecting assets, minimizing taxes and limiting the potential for costly litigation often require use of sophisticated estate planning instruments and tax strategies, including:
- Living trusts, also called revocable trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Family limited partnerships and family LLCs
- Life insurance planning, including life insurance trusts and family split-dollar plans
- Deduction planning
- Gifting programs and strategies
- Generation-skipping transfers
- Charitable giving, charitable foundations and charitable remainder trusts
- Succession planning for business owners
- Marital property agreements including prenuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements
At the Houston law office of Stephenson Fournier, we recognize that today’s tax climate and economic conditions have placed a high premium on carefully conceived estate plans. We also recognize that whatever external factors may be relevant, each estate plan ought to reflect the unique values and goals of the individual it serves.
Because there are no shortcuts, we take the time to listen and gain a thorough understanding of each client’s situation, goals and needs. Once we have that clarity, we explain the available tools and strategies as well as the tax implications, and we then develop a complete estate planning solution.
This typically starts with drafting a will that reflects the client’s final wishes and incorporates relevant legal and tax considerations. The will is the cornerstone of every estate plan. Every sound estate plan also includes some degree of incapacity planning, typically through use of durable powers of attorney for property and health care, HIPAA waivers and advance directives to physicians.
Building on that foundation, if appropriate, we can help you with more sophisticated legal options and strategies that can work to your benefit and maximize the value received by your chosen beneficiaries on an after-tax basis.
Jennifer Elskes is an Estate Planning and Probate Law Specialist certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To achieve this distinction in Texas, lawyers must have substantial relevant experience in a select field of law as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence in that area of law.