The assets of the estate are referred to as the "probate assets of the estate". These assets are attempting to be transferred to the beneficiaries under the Will. But before these assets can legally move to the beneficiaries, any creditors of the estate must be addressed. Contrast this to what is referred to as "non-probate assets" of an estate. These are assets held and owned by the decedent at death but are being transferred to another at death outside the decedent's Will (most common a contract principle). The most common are "payable on death" accounts with a financial institution and/or life insurance policies. A proper estate plan makes sure both probate assets and non-probate assets work together in one steamless plan.
A basic Estate Plan consists of a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Medical Power of Attorney, and a Healthcare Directive (Living Will).
A basic Will should invoke Independent Administration under Texas law, appoint an Executor/Executrix, appoint Trustees for contingent trusts for the potential of minor heirs, and designate Guardians for minor children.
LEGAL - ESTATE PLANNING
financial + legal + more
Attorney and CPA Deron R. Harrington operates a robust legal practice area in Estate Planning. In the Estate Planning arena, we work with clients range from preparing a simple will designed to accomplish the objectives and desires of the client upon death to full blown use of all conventional tools and structures designed to minimize the Federal Estate Tax effects upon death.
This is accomplished by discussions with the client, defining their goals, skillfully formulating and proposing options to the client to carry out the objectives, and crafting documents to bring about a comprehesive estate plan.
Often with many estate planners, they use gargon, terms, structures, or instruments beyond their clients understanding. In our view, we believe this is extremely dangerous. We follow the time proven approach of working with the client to ensure they fully understand all the aspects.
We have always gotten extremely creative to illustrate things to help the client gain the level of understanding that we believe is critical. We call that good "lawyering" - others call that a waste of time. We believe increasing our client's level of understanding is never a waste of time.
All of these areas have significant tax issues associated with them. Some legal advisors do not advise on the tax issues associated with estate planning. That's extremely wreckless in our view.
We do provide advisement on the tax ramifications and feel the tax aspects are an inseparable part of what we do for clients in this area. We don't disclaim tax issues rather we address them because they are often a major aspect.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation contact our office at:
(281) 598-0313 (Houston Metro)
(866) 512-1391 (Toll Free)
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