Why You Need A Will And What It Does
You can accomplish many things by writing a Will and keeping it up-to-date. For example, you can appoint guardians to provide for care of your minor children, and you can name trustees to manage any property you might leave to your children. You can ensure that the assets you’ve worked hard to accumulate are passed on to the people and organizations you choose in the most tax-efficient way possible. And you can reduce the costs of probate and minimize your estate tax liability.
In contrast, if you are a Texas resident and die without a valid Last Will and Testament, Texas will write your Will for you. Your property may or may not be distributed the way you want it to be. And your heirs may be burdened with costly expenses or taxes that could be minimized with a valid Will.
A Comprehensive Estate Plan Starts With A Will
At Stephenson Fournier, we draft Wills and amendments to existing Wills (codicils) that are tailored to address each client’s specific circumstances, concerns and goals. We work closely with you throughout the process, and we take great care in crafting these highly personal documents to ensure they fulfill their intended functions when the time comes.
While simple Wills work well for many people, estate planning clients who have substantial estates, complicated family dynamics or business interests often require more complex Wills. Our attorneys have a great deal of experience in crafting Wills that effectively address all of these scenarios and more.
However, because there are some goals that cannot be accomplished solely through the use of a Last Will and Testament, our lawyers take the time to do a thorough review of the complete financial situation and other relevant factors in each case and recommend the use of additional estate planning tools, such as revocable living trusts or other types of trusts whenever appropriate.
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.