Estate Planning Attorney in Austin, TX
Estate planning refers to the process of deciding how your assets will be divided in the event of your death. The plans made must be documented in an official manner in order to be legal, which is usually done through the services of an estate attorney.
Estate planning is the only way to be sure that your money and possessions go to the people or organizations you wish for them to go to when you aren’t able to speak for yourself. It takes the burden off of your loved ones who would have to make these decisions for you in the absence of a will.
If you are in need of estate planning services in Austin or the central Texas area, call Jason Katims to schedule a consultation: (512) 900-9769.
Wills and Trusts
The most common documents used in estate planning are wills and trusts. A will is different from a trust in many ways.
- A Will contains your instructions for which individuals will receive certain assets upon your death. If you have children, it names who will be appointed as the guardian if they are still minors (under the age of 18).
- A Trust puts your assets in the hands of a trustee who is responsible for carrying out the terms of the trust. The assets typically go to a third-party beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries under specific terms that can include when and under what conditions the beneficiary can receive the funds or assets.
There are different reasons for choosing one or the other. Your estate planner/attorney can help you determine which option will best suit you and your unique situation.
The process by which a will is carried out is called probate. As an estate is settled there are costs associated with it, such as executor fees, appraiser’s fees, and administrative expenses. Probate can take anywhere from a few months to a few years after someone’s death. Another aspect of probate is that it goes on public record, meaning anyone can gain access to information about the finalization of the will.
In some cases, a trust is preferred over a will. When a trust is in place, the terms of the trust are able to be carried out by the trustee privately, much more quickly, and with fewer fees.
When is the Right Time to Start Estate Planning?
There is no exact right time to establish a will or trust. If you are married, you and your spouse should establish a will or trust to decide how your joint and individual assets will be disbursed if one or both of you pass away. You should have a will to establish a guardian for your children, and update your previously established will after the birth of a child. Even single adults should have a will or trust to make your estate settlement easier on your loved ones.
Request a Consultation
Looking for an attorney who offers estate planning services in Central Texas? Jason Katims can help you establish the best plan to protect your funds and assets after your death and make sure they are disbursed according to your wishes. An attorney can ensure that all estate documentation is legal and accurate. Call today to schedule a consultation: (512) 900-9769.