Estate planning is important regardless of age, wealth, or life circumstances or related variables.
Estate planning involves an individual wish to proactively make decisions that will protect a person’s wishes surrounding their death and any loved ones who will be affected by the transfer of property or assets at that time. Not all of asset transfers must go through court. Probated property includes assets that are transferred through the supervision of the court. Non-probated property does not go through the court system but can be transferred through contract or law. Texas state law stipulates how assets such as a joint banking accounts are transferred through the right of survivorship and not by the language in a will.
Other assets may be transferred because contracts have named beneficiaries in documents such as stocks, life insurance and mutual funds that pay a beneficiary named upon the death of the person who owned them. If these types of assets do not name a beneficiary, they can become part of the deceased’s estate and revert to probate court control. A Texas estate planning lawyer who will review a will, and all assets of a person who dies, and update the interested parties on the methods that will be undertaken to settle their estate. Closing out Texas estates can be time-consuming and dragged out, depending upon the nature of the assets left to distribute and instances of beneficiaries contesting a will, requiring the service of an estate planning lawyer.
A San Antonio estate planning lawyer will do their best to effectively and expediently administer the will to save an executor the frustration of holding up payment on bills and costs related to the decedent. A tax lawyer will be able to apprise beneficiaries of the tax liabilities associated with any type of asset they receive during estate settlements.
When a head of household or main breadwinner dies, a family can spiral financially if they do not have the ability to access life insurance funds other assets required for their stability. The Texas Estates Code, section 353.053, also provides for an allowance in lieu of exempt property, stating: (a) If all or any of the specific articles of exempt property described by Section 353.051(a) are not among the decedent’s effects, the court shall make, in lieu of the articles not among the effects, a reasonable allowance to be paid to the decedent’s surviving spouse and children as provided by Section 353.054.(b) The allowance in lieu of a homestead may not exceed $45,000, and the allowance in lieu of other exempt property may not exceed $30,000, excluding the family allowance for the support of the surviving spouse, minor children, and adult incapacitated children provided by Subchapter C.
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Lawyer working at desk; image by Sora Shimazaki, via Unsplash.com.Estate planning is important regardless of age, wealth, or life circumstances or related variables. It allows a person’s wishes to be heard when they cannot speak for themself. Estate planning can not only prevent family conflicts, but it can prevent loved ones from having to make painful healthcare decisions in addition to allowing wanted actions by a party that can no longer or temporarily speak for themselves. Experienced lawyers who understand the state and federal laws that will impact administration of a will can guide interested parties.
ESTATES CODE CHAPTER 121. SURVIVAL REQUIREMENTS (texas.gov)
ESTATES CODE CHAPTER 353. EXEMPT PROPERTY AND FAMILY ALLOWANCE (texas.gov)
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