When you pass on, it can leave your family and loved ones in a state of shock and despair. And if you don’t have a will or estate plan, it can also leave a financial burden behind. Planning out your will and estate ahead of time can help alleviate this stress. At the Hager Law Firm, Estate Attorney Elizabeth Anderson is here to help you understand everything you need to know about estate laws and the probate procedure.

Wills vs. Estate Planning

When you create a will, you draw up a document that dictates what should happen to your assets when you pass away. Estate planning, on the other hand, often includes documents that can take effect while you’re still living. It’s crucial that you have both a will and an estate plan to help ensure your assets are protected and your desires are honored both in life and in death.

Estate Planning

While creating a will is part of estate planning, there’s a lot more involved in the process. Estate planning allows you to create living documents that dictate how your assets and health are treated while you’re still alive. These documents are crucial for instances where you are unable to make conscious decisions, such as if you fall into a coma. Having living documents can help ensure your wishes are respected when you are not able to oversee them yourself.

In a will, you can name beneficiaries who will receive your financial assets. However, the probate process can delay things, leaving your family and loved ones without the financial means you provided for them. Estate planning allows you to create trusts that can release funds and assets once certain conditions are met. This can help ensure your loved ones have the finances they need while waiting for the will to be enacted.

If you become incapacitated, your businesses and other assets still need to be maintained. Estate planning allows you to name someone as your power of attorney. They’re responsible for keeping your estate running if you are unable to do so yourself. You can also provide specific details and instructions for how your power of attorney should act when managing your assets.

If you fall ill, you want to make sure you’re treated the way you should be. Terminal illness and incapacitation make it nearly impossible for you to advocate for your own health care and needs. Much like assigning a power of attorney, estate planning allows you to assign someone to act on your behalf when it comes to health care. You can leave specific instructions behind, such as do not resuscitate, to ensure you continue getting the treatment you would want.

Estate planning can be a long and complex process, especially if you have multiple assets to oversee. Attorney Anderson and her team of estate lawyers at the Hager Law Firm can help you sort out your estate and ensure you and your assets are protected both in life and in death.

Wills and Probate

When someone passes away, their assets need to be dealt with. Everything from bank accounts to properties to businesses will be passed on to someone else. Who and how, however, is determined during probate. If you don’t have a will, probate can be an extremely lengthy process that could result in the division of your assets against what you would have wanted. Creating a will and keeping it updated is the best way to ensure your loved ones and assets are taken care of.

If you have a will, the probate process will do everything possible to ensure the terms of your will are followed as precisely as possible. But an interested party may come forward to contest a will. While this may just be an act of jealousy or revenge, there are some conditions that do make a will invalid in a court of law.

  • Lack of Testamentary Capacity (i.e., not being of ‘sound mind’)
  • Undue Influence
  • Due Execution (i.e., missing signatures)
  • Noncompliance

Wills can be complex legal documents, especially the more assets you have. Attorney Anderson has the working knowledge of Texas estate laws needed to ensure your will is sound and legally binding.

If you pass away without a will, the probate process becomes even more complex. Assets are passed on to the deceased’s heirs, who are determined by the closest living relative. Division of assets differs greatly depending on whether the deceased was married or not.

Why Choose the Hager Law Firm for Will and Estate Planning?

It’s never too early to create a will or start planning for your estate. Accidents can happen at any time in our lives, and Attorney Anderson is here to ensure you and your assets are protected in these instances. When you hire an estate lawyer from the Hager Law Firm, you hire someone who is invested in protecting your rights and wishes.

Wills and estate laws can be very tricky. With over 15 years of experience dealing with Texas estate law, Attorney Anderson has the knowledge you need to ensure your assets and loved ones are taken care of.

Discussing our own mortality can be extremely anxiety-producing. But fear shouldn’t get in your way when it comes to estate planning. At the Hager Law Firm, we treat each client with compassion and care, walking you through the estate planning process and respecting your emotions and concerns.

Probate is a lengthy and complex process, even with a will. Attorney Anderson has the working knowledge needed to ensure your will is legal and sound. She’ll work hard to help expedite the probate process when needed to get your wishes fulfilled as soon as possible.

Need Help with Texas Estate Planning?

The longer you wait to begin planning your estate, the more likely you are to not have any say in how your assets are handled. Call Attorney Anderson today at (903) 466-0001 to schedule an initial consultation and begin planning your estate right away.