Trust Attorney in Houston, TX | Wills & Trusts
The Houston wills and trust attorneys at Elaine Law Group are dedicated to protecting your legacy and preparing for your family’s future. As highly-regarded Houston trust attorneys, our proficiency is with creating, modifying, and refining wills and trusts in Houston, Texas. Our wills and trusts attorney services are tailored to meet the specific needs of every client. Whether you are beginning the process of will preparation or seeking counsel to ensure the distribution of assets to family members, charities, or other recipients, our knowledge as Houston will and trust lawyers guarantees thorough consideration of every aspect of Texas’ estate laws.
In addition to estate planning, our comprehensive will and trusts services span the creation of trust agreements, medical directives, powers of attorney, and the establishment of closely held business entities like LLCs and corporations. Place your trust and wills in the capable hands of Elaine Law Group and benefit from our exceptional combination of legal expertise and personalized attention in the Houston-Fort Worth area.
Consult With Our Wills and Trusts Lawyers in Houston Today.
Contracts & Formation
Wills & Trusts
The Difference Between Trusts and Wills in Texas
In estate planning, both trusts and wills have unique features and benefits. However, they serve distinct purposes and come with their own set of characteristics. Here’s a concise breakdown:
- Immediate Transfer: Once established, a trust can immediately transfer control of assets to the beneficiaries without going through the probate process.
- Privacy: Trusts are not public documents, ensuring the details of your assets and beneficiaries remain private.
- Flexibility: Trusts can be altered or revoked, depending on their type, allowing for adjustments as circumstances change.
- Protection: Some trusts can protect assets from creditors and legal judgments.
A trust provides a structured means to distribute assets to beneficiaries, allowing for stipulations like educational milestones or age thresholds. It ensures that children benefit optimally from their inheritance while safeguarding assets from potential mismanagement. Our Texas trust attorney can help you create a trust tailored to your unique circumstances.
- Probate Process: Wills must go through probate, a public legal process that validates the will and oversees the distribution of assets.
- Guardianship: Wills allow you to designate guardians for minor children, something trusts cannot do.
- Final Instructions: Wills can specify how debts, taxes, and expenses should be paid.
- Clarity: By having a will, you reduce potential conflicts among survivors regarding the distribution of assets and properties.
A will clearly delineates how one’s assets are to be distributed upon their passing, ensuring that children and other beneficiaries receive their intended inheritance. Additionally, it allows for the appointment of guardians for minor children, guaranteeing their care aligns with the decedent’s wishes.
Without creating a trust upon death, assets may go through the lengthy and public probate process in Texas, potentially distributing them according to Texas descent and distribution laws rather than one’s personal wishes.
Every individual’s circumstances are unique, making it imperative that your estate plan is meticulously tailored to align with your aspirations and safeguard your legacy. Contact our law firm for more information =
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that arranges how your possessions and assets will be distributed after death. A valid will can name guardians for minor children as well as who is in charge of distributing the will upon your demise. It is crucial to have a will as it enables a person to express in detail their desires after death. Collaborating with Houston attorneys who specialize in Texas estate law for the drafting and revising of your will can guarantee that your intentions are accurately reflected.
Without a will, your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries in accordance with the laws of the state where you reside. This is referred to as dying intestate, and the settlement that follows might not be what you would like for your survivors. By having legal documents that reflect your preferences, the state will not automatically distribute your property according to intestate laws.
Texas intestate laws, like most states, require that all assets be distributed to the closest living relative. First would be a living spouse – next would be any living children, followed by any living parents. In the event that you have no living next of kin, your estate will escheat to the state. Proper estate planning will prevent the likeliness of either of these situations from occurring.
Our Wills Attorney Services
- Last Will and Testament Drafting
- Living Wills
- Codicils (Will Amendments)
- Testamentary Trusts
- Guardianship Provisions
- Power of Attorney Designation
- Advanced Healthcare Directives
- Digital Asset Inclusions
- Executor Designations
- Contingent Beneficiary Provisions
- Spousal Right of Election Services
- Estate Tax Planning Provisions
- Will Validation and Probate Assistance
The list of wills services encompasses the aforementioned offerings but is not limited to them, as our firm provides a broad range of specialized services tailored to individual needs. We also provide estate planning attorney services that can help you craft a will that aligns with your larger estate plan.
What is a Trust?
As part of a thoughtful estate plan, a trust can provide other benefits in addition to being traditionally used to reduce inheritance taxes.
In a trust, a third person, or trustee, is given the authority to hold assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. There are numerous ways to set up trusts, and they can stipulate the precise timing and distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries.
A person’s beneficiaries might have quicker access to these assets because trusts typically escape probate as compared to assets transferred by a will. Furthermore, if it is an irrevocable trust, it might not be regarded as a component of the taxable estate, which could result in lower taxes owed after one’s passing.
However, if a revocable trust is formed, it will likely be taxed. A revocable trust is commonly known as a living trust because the Settlor maintains control over the trust.
Our Houston Trusts Attorney Services
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Asset Protection Trusts
- Dynasty Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Business Succession Trusts
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
- Pet Trusts
The list of trust services highlights our core offerings, yet is not exhaustive, as our firm offers an extensive array of tailored trust solutions to cater to diverse requirements. If you need help creating a trust that aligns with an existing estate plan, our estate planning attorneys may be able to assist you.
How to Form a Will in Texas?
In order for a will to be valid in Texas, it must be formed in a way that complies with the requirements set forth by Texas probate laws. The requirements for a will in Texas are:
- It must be in writing; verbal wills are not upheld in a court of law in Texas. Additionally, a solely digital copy will not be accepted either. The will must be printed or written on paper.
- The person forming the will must be at least 18. However, being in the military or legally married exempts a person from this rule.
- One must be of sound mind. A person must understand that they are forming a will and be capable of making the decisions for allocation of their assets.
- Drafting a will must be done so voluntarily. If a person tries to force another to create a will, then the will would be deemed invalid.
- Finally, two witnesses, at least 14 years of age, must attest to the validity of the signing of the will.
Texas does not require a will to be notarized. However, one can elect to have a will notarized to forgo witnesses. If the will is properly notarized, then it will be self-proving, which means a witness will not be necessary at probate.
How Our Wills and Trust Attorneys Can Help You
Interpreting the necessary documents for your estate plan can be a complex task without the guidance of Houston estate planning lawyers. At our law firm, the Elaine Law Group, our wills and trusts attorneys closely examine your financial landscape, assessing assets, and liabilities, and understanding your beneficiary matrix to pinpoint whether a will, trust, or a combination of both aligns with your objectives.
With a steadfast commitment to adhering to Texas state regulations, our law firm ensures that your documents not only stand up to legal scrutiny but also mirror your intentions and optimize estate tax efficiency. By leveraging our other expertise in business and estate law cases, we’re primed to address every facet of your legal and financial journey.
Contact Our Law Firm
Our law firm offers wills and trusts attorney services in Houston, TX, and caters to the surrounding areas within Harris County.
For assistance in drafting a will, establishing a trust, or handling any other estate planning issues, reach out to an Elaine Law Group Wills and Trusts attorney in Houston, TX.
What is a Will?
What is a Trust?
How to Form a Will in Texas?
Hiring a Wills and Trusts Attorney
Contracts & Formation
Wills & Trusts