Estate Planning Law Firm Serving Lewisville, Denton, Coppell, Southlake, Flower Mound, Frisco, Richardson, Plano, Dallas, and the Surrounding Areas
Wills · Trusts · Ancillary Documents
Planning Your Estate
Estate Planning is the process by which people develop plans that ensure the assets they have worked hard to accumulate are protected and distributed to those they choose. Estate planning is about the future of their families or loved ones.
We know this is a complex area – legally, financially and emotionally.
The lawyers at Hammerle Finley Law Firm have helped people plan their estates for more than three decades. Our goal is to help people make and implement plans that carry out their wishes regarding their families and their property. In doing so, we provide peace of mind and the comfort of knowing their assets will be preserved for the next generation.
We can help you implement a variety of strategies to minimize taxes and provide for your loved ones.
Basic Planning Documents
There are 7 basic documents that are considered important:
- Final Will & Testament
- Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Directive to Physicians
- Designation of Guardian
- HIPAA Authorization
- Designation of Agent for Disposition of Remains and Burial Instructions
Composing a final will & testament helps to ensure that you control how your estate is divided. An estate that is not covered by a will is called “intestate”, and your belongings will pass according to state law, not according to your wishes.
A power of attorney is a written document that allows someone else to handle your financial affairs. It can be “springing”, meaning it only becomes effective on your incapacity, or it can be “durable”, meaning it becomes effective immediately and lasts through your incapacity. The basic form is set out by Texas statute; however, there are certain additional powers that should be added to obtain the best taxable and practical advantages for your individual situation.
A medical power of attorney designates a person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. The basic form is set out by Texas statute.
A directive to physicians sets out your wishes in various circumstances regarding the use of extraordinary measures to prolong your life (life support). The basic form is set out by Texas Statute, but most people like to tailor the document to include their specific wishes.
A designation of guardian sets out your wishes on who you want, and absolutely do not want, to serve as your Guardian in the event one becomes necessary.
The HIPAA Authorization provides your consent to doctors and hospitals to disclose your medical condition to a list of approved people.
The designation of aan gent for disposition of remains authorizes one person to make all of the funeral and burial decisions after your death, and conveys your final wishes for disposition of your remains.
Depending upon the size and complexity of the estate and a client’s personal situation (former marriage, step-children, disabilities in the family, etc.), additional estate planning may be necessary. Arrangements may include some of the following:
- Living Trust
- Special Needs Trust
- Family Settlement Agreement
- Family Limited Partnership
- Buy-Sell Agreement
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust or IRA Trust
If you have an Estate Planning matter, or just need your current documents reviewed, please contact us.