Our firm handles a variety of estate planning matters, including planning for the distribution of your property at your death, taking into account wills, taxes, insurance, property and trusts, so as to gain the maximum benefit of all laws while at the same time carrying out your wishes. It is our goal to structure your estate so that it can be administered efficiently and effectively after your death and during your life. Our estate planning services include:
Probate. Attorneys at Gary E. Patterson, P.C. have decades of experience representing clients in all matters relating to a deceased's estate. Services offered include contested guardianships, estate litigation, trust litigation, will contests, and heirship disputes.
Estate Planning. Vigilant legal planning is a crucial step for an individual seeking to protect assets and pass them on as desired. Gary E. Patterson, P.C. offers a broad scope of estate planning services including testamentary wills, living wills, trusts, powers of attorney and designation of guardianships. Attorneys at our firm strive to address the long-range plans and unique goals individual clients have in mind. Trust, estate and tax laws are change over time in the state of Texas. Our attorneys counsel clients with up-to-date advice enabling clients to properly plan their estates and protect assets for future generations.
Drafting Transfer on Death Deeds ("TODD"). In 2015 a bill was put forth by Texas legislators creating a new type of deed that transfers real property upon the death of the owner. This new type of deed can eliminate the need for the surviving spouse or surviving family members to open up an estate; thereby significantly reducing the attorney fees required to transfer real property upon a loved one's death. The TODD has specific requirements including: (i) the deed be filed prior to the property owner's death; (ii) the deed include the name and addresses of the individuals who will receive the property; and (iii) the deed must be signed and notarized prior to filing. Another important point - the TODD will control transfer of the real property even if the individual's Last Will and Testament requests the property be transferred to someone else entirely. Attorneys at Gary E. Patterson, P.C. have experience drafting Transfer on Death Deeds and are able to do so at an affordable price (flat fee).
Creating Trusts. There are two basic types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust can be altered during the life of the individual who creates the trust. In contrast, an irrevocable trust generally cannot be altered after the trust is created. Attorneys at Gary E. Patterson, P.C. work to use trusts as a way to avoid probate and its associate costs. Additionally, our attorneys draft trusts for generational wealth transfers, asset protection, and to provide consistent streams of income for your family.
Drafting Wills. Wills are useful tools for ensuring an individual's assets are distributed according to his or her wishes. A will designates beneficiaries and appoints someone as executor (fiduciary representative) of the estate. The issues associated with who will receive money and property upon death are simply too important and complex to rely on "do-it-yourself" legal kits. Our legal team has extensive experience and wide-ranging knowledge of estate planning tools and the Texas probate process. Our priorities in drafting a will is to reflect the client's current situation and intentions, taking into consideration Texas laws relating to the particular assets that individual seeks to transfer at death.
Creating Power of Attorneys. Power of attorneys are extremely useful estate planning documents that can provide a client with peace of mind, knowing that, should the client become incapacitated or otherwise unable to act, the individual designated will be able to speak and/or act for you. Without a power of attorney, a relative will have to be appointed by the court, requiring more attorney fees and expenses. There are generally two types of power of attorney. First, a general power of attorney drafted to provide for management of the individual's finances. Second, a medical power of attorney that appoints an individual, with guided direction, to make decisions concerning your future health. A medical power of attorney is also referred to as a "physicians directive." A comprehensive estate plan should include both a general power of attorney and a medical power of attorney.
Creating and Administering Guardianships and Conservatorships. First, designating future guardians is a crucial task for any individual with children under the age of 18. If the parents of a minor should die without naming a legal guardian in their will, or a designation of guardianship document, the decision for who will care for the minor child is left to the discretion of the court. In order to ensure your child is cared for by the individual(s) of your choice our attorneys can draft a designation of guardianship document or incorporate the terms thereof into your will. Second, the attorneys at Gary E. Patterson, P.C. have experience in helping clients seek appointment as guardian of minor children and incapacitated adults. Further, our legal team works hand in hand with the client, once appointed, to ensure he or she fulfills all of the legal requirements of their status as guardian.
WILLS, TRUSTS, GUARDIANSHIPS
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