Round Rock Estate Planning Attorney
Round Rock estate planning attorney, Richard J Cahan helps Williamson County residents residing in Round Rock, Austin, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Pflugerville and beyond draft affordable, custom-tailored Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and other estate planning documents. If a loved one has recently passed, Richard can help you start your Texas Probate; assist you with Probate administration or appear for you in Texas Probate Court.
Attorney Cahan drafts Wills, Living Trusts and other estate documents for residents in and around Round Rock. Proper estate planning documents will protect you and your family. Moreover, Richard can help people begin the cumbersome and complex probate process. As a probate attorney, Executors and administrator can call on Round Rock attorney Cahan for legal counsel and practical advice about administering their Probate. For those who are fortunate enough to have side-stepped Probate because their loved one created a Revocable Living Trust, and you were appointed the successor Trustee of your loved one’s trust, Richard can help you with your trust administration duties by handling the entire trust administration, or you can call on Richard to assist you on an ‘as-needed’ basis for the more complex tasks. Remember, in probate or trust matters, the estate pays for all legal fees, not the executor, administrator or trustee.
What Happens When Someone Doesn’t Have a Will or Trust?
By default, they have chosen the “Texas DEFAULT Estate Plan.” The State of Texas and a probate judge will often become the “decider” about WHO are the legal heirs and WHAT those heirs shall receive if there is NO Will or Trust. If at all possible, avoid that outcome at all cost! By doing nothing as to estate planning, the ‘Texas default estate plan’ is the future for your loved ones. County-level government bureaucrats might be forced to become involved in your private family affairs. Complete strangers have the power, by law, to decide the fate of your assets, and the guardianship of minor children, all because someone failed to create a few simple legal documents.
Don’t allow a Probate judge to intervene in your family’s lives. Decisions made a random Probate judge who never knew you, might make decisions that are completely opposite of what you want. Some affordable estate planning documents can limit or prevent the government from intervening in your survivor’s lives.
How Can I Protect My Family?
Everyone ponders: “How can I be certain my family gets assets I’ve accumulated?” If you are living a simple Round Rock lifestyle and have minimal assets at this time, a fast and affordable Will would make sure your desires will be carried out. If you have a more complicated life with a spouse, partner, kids, and more assets, a Living Revocable Trust would probably be your go-to estate planning vehicle of choice. Rather than have your heirs and beneficiaries spend six months or longer in the Texas Probate Courts, a simple Living Trust will completely avoid the Probate process. Your loved one’s will be so thankful for this little bit of time it takes to do it right.
A Living Revocable Trust will protect your survivors from the aggravation of a very public Texas Probate. The major reason so many families in Round Rock will protect themselves with a Living Trust is to avoid Probate. Avoiding Probate is to make sure your ‘now private family matters’ REMAIN private should something happen to you. The Probate process makes public the names of your family, any family drama that might be hashed out in the court, and your financial records as everything is documented and becomes a permanent part of the searchable public database. People with a properly drafted, affordable, Living Trust never have to endure Probate thus keeping the government out of their private family business. That said, there are trusts found to be defective each year and estate planning attorneys are the first to hear of these sad tales. They are often ‘fill in the blank’ trusts ordered off the Internet from document mills. Be careful. Insist that a Texas estate planning attorney drafts your trust and companion estate planning documents.
Protecting Assets Using Estate Planning Documents
Protecting your assets. Most Round Rock residents eventually acquire a family home (real property). Some of our actual Round Rock clients have acquired both a home and a vacation home. These homes are often in Galveston, Crystal Beach or Port Aransas. Others have vacation homes in Colorado and other states where the weather is cooler than Central Texas. Many folks invest in income properties. Beyond real estate there is personal property folks want to make certain go to specific people.
A ‘Living Trust’ is the perfect instrument that transfers real estate and personal property quickly, easily and smoothly. Until you start this process, by making a list of what you own, few people realize just how much they have acquired. This process is where you choose WHO you will bless with your stuff, including such things as: cars, trucks, RV’s, boats, jewelry, furniture, electronics, artwork, woodworking and other tools, guns, and grandpa’s coin or stamp collection you forgot was in the attic. As a parent, you choose which child will appreciate tools; which child (if any) is mature enough to inherit a rifle or pistol. Some parents chose to transfer guns to a more mature family relative who already has guns, or to a friend or colleague at work instead of their children. Your kids might not be mature enough to inherit many of your treasures they do not yet appreciate (coins, jewelry, guns, tools) and you suspect they might sell your treasures for pennies on the dollar in a yard sale the instant they need some fast cash. If you fear your children or spouse might not appreciate certain personal treasures, you might decide to bless a sibling living in another state or your best friend from high school. These are the ‘fun’ parts of drafting your estate planning documents.
“After I’m gone, I fear my wife will sell my guns for the prices I told her I paid for them.”
A Revocable Living Trust is very specific as to WHO gets WHAT –or some specified percentage of– your ASSETS. You specify in writing exactly how your assets are to be dispersed to your family, loved ones, friends and charities. Having a Revocable Living Trust prevents random government Probate judges from deciding who gets what following your passing.
Do Not Be Lured into Online Estate Planning Documents
Be cautious of cheap online estate planning document mills. Attorneys literally “cringe” when they hear of people ordering Wills and Trusts from Internet document mills. And, no, it’s not what you think. It is not that we are missing out on a client. Estate planning lawyers are usually pretty busy professionals. Every estate planning lawyer has stories of the clients he or she came to the aid of as victims of cheap estate documents. Many people will start a Texas probate only to have the Will ‘thrown out’ by the probate judge as ‘defective.’ For a Will being found defective in Texas, means it is as if there never was a Will, and those heirs and beneficiaries in the defective Will mean nothing to the court. The heirs are identified by Texas heirship rules. The same happens with trusts, but the fallout and mess is often compounded. Unfortunately, these document mills use software just to insert your name into a standard boilerplate document. These websites allude their documents are sound, but we see them failing simple challenges from a distant relative who wants a piece or ALL of what was supposed to go to the people named. The cost difference to have your Will or Trust documents drafted by a local Texas attorney are minor and are custom drafted so your estate plan survives the complex legal minefield of estate law.
How Do We Get Started on My Estate Plan?
A phone call can start your Will or Living Trust. Richard regularly does estate planning ‘remotely’ by phone and email for clients a mile away who just like the simplicity of getting the process started without scheduling an office visit. Of course, you are welcome to visit in person first, if that is what you want. We regularly ‘work remotely’ for people initially and then when the documents are to your liking, we can sign everything in the office here, or at your home, office, or local Starbucks. There are some clients not in the area or now living out of state that we never meet face-to-face.
We Can Work Remotely
In the age of shopping for clothes from Amazon, and having the local supermarket deliver our groceries and stock our refrigerators as we watch the delivery person on our phone app, we understand the convenience, savings in gas, and the ‘get it started today’ aspects of just working by phone and email. Some clients don’t like to drive, cannot drive, are too busy, or are currently in a hospital or nursing home –or– simply appreciate the new-found freedom of working by phone and email for everyday services – even legal services.
Upshot? – Richard J Cahan is here to serve his clients in Round Rock and beyond with what works and is convenient. Similarly, many adult kids are helping their aging parents get a living Trust put together so that the family home the kids are supposed to inherit will not be tied up in ‘Probate Limbo’ for nearly a year. Instead, the home and other assets will simply and smoothly transfer. To that end, Richard regularly visits clients at their home or other location. We will make the arrangements.
What do I Need? – Will – Living Trust – Durable Power of Attorney
Some Straight-Talk from Round Rock estate planning attorney Richard J Cahan:
Your estate plan can be as simple as a Will and a Health care directive or include a trust. After we talk over the possibilities and protections afforded by each document, you can decide what you need at this point in your life. I am not here to sell you legal documents you DO NOT need. Usually, your life circumstances will dictate what you should have. Whatever your decision, in estate planning, ‘something is ALWAYS better than nothing,’ and you will tell me what you need at this time. You can always add better protections to your estate plan as the years go by and circumstances change.
Together we brainstorm your circumstances including your age, health, marital status, children, real property, personal property, job, income and your goals. Every adult (18 years old) should have some sort of documents even if they have minimal assets. A nineteen year old renting an apartment, with a car in his or her name should have a simple set of documents. When you become an adult, your parents are legally powerless to help take care of or manage what assets you do have. Your mom cannot legally get access to your checking account to pay your rent or a car note if you were laid up unconscious for weeks – not uncommon for traffic accident victims. Health care documents inform family and doctors what your choices are if incapacitated. As adults get older, generate more income, accumulate more assets, get married, have children or create a blended family by marriage, such UNIQUE circumstances suggest what level of estate plan is sensible. Once you tell me what you want, I will draft those estate planning documents for your review. I’ll take care of everything in a timely and affordable manner.
You will end up with estate planning documents tailored to you. Your estate documents might include a Will, Trust, Powers of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney, and other legal documents that uniquely-address YOUR needs. My very basic goal is to:
- protect you and what is yours,
- protect you and your loved one’s should you become incapacitated,
- make certain that your assets go to EACH PERSON you choose,
- ensure your heirs and beneficiaries do NOT inherit a mess to clean up, and,
- your spouse, partner, family members and survivors sail through Probate (Will only) or avoid Probate entirely (Trust).
If we are able to accomplish these 5 basic goals, your survivors will be blessed because you took time to protect them. On the other hand, if you die without even a basic Will, your spouse/partner, siblings, and children often end up in a bureaucratic mess where the State of Texas determines the heirship that you did not communicate legally. Having a valid Will, might still mean your survivors need to go through the Probate process, but it will go smoother, and the people YOU WANT to get your assets will get them legally transferred to them when Probate is completed. Moreover, a well-drafted Will will go a long way in eliminating common family squabbles over who gets what, and should derail unexpected (but commonplace) claims from long-lost heirs showing up to claim their ‘rightful inheritance.’
When you are contemplating creating an estate plan, taking care of aging parents, or you need help with the probate process, I am here to assist you. Not only to we proudly offer top-notch legal services, we do so at fare and affordable fees.
You will meet ONLY with me – not a contract attorney or paralegal. I have set up my estate planning legal practice such that everyone can afford one-on-one first-class legal counsel when they decide to draft a Will or set up a Living Trust or other estate planning legal instruments.
If you take a little time to create a Will, Trust and other powerful companion documents, you can make SURE that the State of Texas is far less likely to butt into your families’ lives and make more stressful that which will already be a time of significant emotion.
to take advantage of a free phone consultation or to schedule a sit-down consultation in my office, your home, your business, or even at your corner Starbucks.