Estate Planning Services
What would happen to you, your children, your money, your pets, and everything else you care about if something unexpected happened to you?
It's okay if you don't know.
The value of
Estate Planning Services
If you haven't previously shopped for estate planning services or made other plans for your financial affairs, you are in good company. According to an AARP survey, more than half of adults in America lack a basic living will or another protective mechanism. And their reasons won't surprise you.
A 2021 Caring.com study reports, in a similar survey, that many people think they will simply get around to estate planning or drafting a will in the future. Others believe they can't afford an attorney to draft a will or create a trust. Some simply don't understand the importance of the process or how to get started. Regardless of the reason, these delays can be costly.
2 out of 3 Adults
Lack A Will
Statistics published with permission from the
2021 Caring.com Wills and Estate Planning Study
It's important to act now
If you die without a will, trust, or other protective mechanisms, your property is distributed according to the law. Some property can pass directly to beneficiaries in Texas when the appropriate paperwork is filed, or a beneficiary is listed. This property can include bank accounts, life insurance, retirement accounts, and the like. Property like real estate, however, may be required to transfer through a probate court.
Probate is the court process that manages the transfer of assets to heirs. You can think of the probate court as the project manager in the process of identifying heirs, validating their claims to property, and transferring them according to current laws. These laws can change and do require expert interpretation.
In Texas, most probate courts require an attorney for representation. A probate attorney will guide you through initial filing, validation of documents, and the required court processes. The costs of these interactions add up quickly.
Probate – it's going to cost you
The cost of probate varies. Here at Forsythe Law, we price probate based upon complexity. The amount of property, number of heirs, and any foreseeable conflicts all weigh into the calculation. In the most extreme cases, our clients pay a retainer fee by the hour.
- The average uncontested probate costs $4000 in fees and court costs.
- Contested probate cases cost much more.
This cost is something we honestly want you and your wallet to avoid. So much so that we have built a business around it.
Estate Plans and Living Trusts to the Rescue!
Our estate planning professionals are indeed superheroes. They help our customers avoid costly probate and keep their assets out of the courts. Just like most superheroes, they employ several unique tools to do so. At Forsythe Law, our best tool is the living trust.
Living Trusts are one of the best mechanisms to transfer assets at death. You can think of the trust as a bottomless box. While you are alive, you can put things inside the box and write rules on the sides of the box. When you die, the box closes, and before anyone can take anything out, they must read and abide by those rules.
Each living trust defines trustees to ensure that a trust works for you and your wishes are respected. Trustees are those chosen to manage the trust. While you are alive, you (and usually your spouse) serve as your trustee. When you die, the trustees you have appointed assume management of the trust.
What is an estate plan?
Where does the estate plan become useful? Estate planning is the process of creating a holistic strategy for your family and their assets that leverages wills and trusts, as well as other special mechanisms to meet your unique needs. At Forsythe Law, our estate plans typically include additional tools like the statutory power of attorney, medical power of attorney, durable power of attorney, pour-over wills, and more. Additionally, families caring for senior family members or those with special needs often take advantage of our Medicare planning tools and special needs trusts. How do you choose the correct mechanisms for your family and ensure a valuable experience with this wealth of tools?
To ensure the tools available to you work for your family's unique needs, the Forsythe Law team will guide you through the entire estate planning process. We will learn about your family, your assets, and what things are essential to you through this process. We will explain the use of each tool and design a plan that speaks to your wishes and your budget. Getting started on the journey is easy, and the first step is free.
How it Works
The Estate Planning process starts with your FREE consultation. This meeting is our opportunity to ensure that we are a good fit for you and your family and get you started on some critical first steps. One of these first steps is to document your current assets and family structure. We can begin selecting from our toolbelt of estate planning mechanisms and begin drafting documents into your estate plan with this information. We will actively work with you to understand what is going into the estate plan, the related costs, and the timeline for signing and filing your customized estate plan. Signing documents, though, is just the start.
Once you have signed the documents in your estate plan, we will begin a lifelong journey with you and your family. Periodically, we will review your plan together to capture changes in your life and changes in the law, so your estate plan continues to work with you.
Ready to Get Started?Schedule Online Today
Take the first step and schedule your free consultation today.