Estate Planning Attorney Houston
When you have spent your life working hard for everything you have, you don’t want someone else to decide what happens to your possessions after you’re gone.
Like it or not, none of us will be here forever. But you can take steps to see that those you love are taken care of when you’re not here to look out for them.
Adam Curley of The Curley Law Firm can help you protect your assets and see that your final wishes are honored. As an estate attorney in Houston, Adam is familiar with the local landscape. He can explain your options under Texas law and help you design a plan that you can count on.
Some attorneys take a one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning. But Adam knows how important it is to consider the individual needs of each client. He will listen to you and help you craft an estate plan that focuses on your personal priorities and meets your goals.
Call The Curley Law Firm to get started on your estate plan now, or keep reading to learn more about estate planning and the services Adam Curley offers.
Secure Your Future with an Estate Planning Attorney in Houston
The Curley Law Firm recognizes that estate planning can be a crucial part of accomplishing clients’ long-term goals. Estate planning provides several benefits, regardless of the size of your actual or anticipated estate. An estate attorney in Houston can help you prepare an estate plan that meets the following goals.
Makes Your Intentions Clear
Estate planning gives you the opportunity to consider every aspect of how your estate will be handled. You can think carefully about the needs of each of your loved ones and use your own judgment to see that they are provided for.
In addition to deciding who gets what, you can make decisions about who will administer your estate, who will take care of your children, and who can make healthcare decisions for you.
Puts You In Control
No one should decide what happens to your possessions except for you. You have built individual relationships with your family members and friends, and you should be able to choose what you leave for them to remember you. You don’t want to leave that decision to the hand of the state.
Helps Maintain Family Relationships
It’s a lot harder for family members to challenge your wishes when they are there in black and white. Family members will have less to fight about if you have already planned for everything. It also relieves your family of the responsibility of making difficult decisions about your health, children, or assets.
Protects Your Assets
After you have spent your life working and saving, you should be able to decide how your assets are spent. But without careful planning, your estate may be eaten up by taxes, fees, and creditors. An attorney can help you craft an estate plan that puts the most money into the hands of your loved ones.
What Happens to Your Assets If You Don’t Have an Estate Plan?
If someone dies without an estate plan, their state will distribute their assets based on the state’s intestacy laws.
Texas Intestacy Laws
Texas’s intestacy laws have different rules for distribution depending on whether the decedent (the person who died) has a surviving spouse and whether the property is “community” (shared by the couple) or “separate” (belonging to the decedent individually).
If the decedent has no surviving spouse, then their entire estate would pass to the following people in the order listed:
- Children and descendants of deceased children;
- Parents, if both parents are living;
- One half to parent and one half to siblings (or descendants of deceased siblings), if only one parent is living;
- Siblings and descendants of deceased siblings; or
- Half to paternal relatives and half to maternal relatives, as explained in the statute.
If the decedent has a surviving spouse, then their half of community property will go to the spouse unless the decedent has children from another relationship. If the decedent does have children from another relationship, then their half of the community property will be divided among all their children (or, for deceased children, the children’s descendants).
If the decedent has separate property, then the state will divide the separate property between the decedent’s spouse and children, as outlined in the statute. If the decedent has no children, then a portion of their separate property may pass to other family members.
Consequences of Dying Intestate
As you can see, if you die without an estate plan, the state will decide how your property is divided. This can have a number of negative consequences such as:
- People you don’t like or who are undeserving may inherit part of your estate;
- More distant relations or non-relations that you would have liked to leave something to will likely not inherit anything;
- You won’t have the chance to choose which property to give to which individuals;
- Your spouse may have to surrender a portion of your joint assets, like your home, to other heirs;
- If you have minor children, you may leave their future up to the courts;
- Your estate will pass through probate, which may diminish its value;
- You miss out on potential tax savings; and
- Your heirs’ creditors may claim a portion of your estate.
To protect your assets and ensure that they end up in the right hands, it is important to talk to an estate planning attorney. Houston estate planning attorney Adam Curley will work hard to see that your desires are respected.
Estate Planning Services
The Curley Law Firm provides several estate planning services custom-tailored to your needs, including:
- Basic will drafting,
- Asset management and review,
- Medical plans,
- Charitable giving,
- Estate and gift tax planning, and
- Consulting on marital agreements.
Contact Adam Curley today to learn more and discuss your estate planning needs. He will work with you to tailor an estate plan to your personal circumstances. If you are ready to protect your assets, call the Curley Law Firm today at 832.225.3448 or fill out an online form.