18 S. Main, #601, Temple, TX 76501

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Wills & Trusts




We advise individuals, couples, and families regarding the most effective vehicles to accomplish their estate planning objectives.

What is estate planning anyway?

Often you hear wills and trusts under the umbrella of “estate planning”.  Yet the phrase “estate planning” has little meaning to most.  In a nutshell, estate planning is being intentional about the legacy (financial and personal) you are leaving by memorializing your wishes.  The vehicles through which you can do this are many.  The most common legal documents used, however, are wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.  The actual legal documents are just one piece of the puzzle.  Just as important are other puzzle pieces such as: beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance, account designations on checking, savings, and brokerage accounts, guardian considerations for minors, special considerations for beneficiaries with unique medical or personal needs, and asset protection.

Our standard will package for an individual includes 5 documents:  Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, and Advanced Directive.*

Our standard will package for a couple includes 10 documents:  a set of the above documents for each spouse.*

A will is not effective until your death so it can be changed and revoked by you until your death, unless you lose the capacity to do so.  On occasion, there are specific circumstances involved that make a revocable trust (also called a living trust or inter vivos trust) the better vehicle for articulating your wishes.  Like a will, a revocable trust does not go into effect until your death.  The specific circumstances that often make a revocable trust a better vehicle can include: owning real property outside the state of Texas,  impending capacity issues, or a need or desire for privacy.  Deciding between using a will or a trust as the vehicle to memorialize your wishes should be done with careful thought and consideration.  Neither will sacrifice effectiveness, though depending on your circumstances, one will likely be more efficient.

Our standard trust package for an individual includes a minimum of 6 documents:  Trust, Pour over will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, and Advanced Directive.  To the extent documents are needed to fund the trust (i.e. place legal title to property in the trust), the appropriate documents are added to the package.*

*Each package includes a thoughtful discussion and action plan for other estate planning vehicles such as  beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance, account designations on checking, savings, and brokerage accounts, guardian considerations for minors, special considerations for beneficiaries with unique medical or personal needs, and asset protection.

What will it cost?  

It may seem like it would be quite simple to publish a price for each of the above packages, but we do not provide “one size fits all” estate planning packages without thoughtfully considering your circumstances.  One can purchase such a package (though we do not recommend it) at online document production service sites or can receive such packages from attorneys who do not primarily practice estate planning who simply insert your information into a form and hit print.  What you deserve and what your family deserves, however, is a thoughtful consideration of your legacy and a recommendation and production of the most effective and efficient vehicles to accomplish that.  Often, that translates into tailoring documents and designations for your circumstances.

After a general understanding of your circumstances, we can provide a recommendation of the vehicles we believe will most effectively and efficiently memorialize your wishes, as well as a price quote. Providing answers to the following questions will help us provide the most accurate quote:

  • What is your marital status?
  • Do you have any children?
  • Have you been married previously?
  • If you have been married previously, do you have children with your former spouse?
  • Do you have any minor children?
  • Do you have any children (or other people to whom you wish to pass property) with special physical, mental or personal considerations (i.e. physical or mental disability, mental capacity issues, addiction, unstable marriage, pronounced and consistent financial irresponsibility, etc.)
  • Is asset protection a primary concern?
  • Please specify whether you have any of the following:  life insurance, tax deferred retirement accounts (i.e. 401k and similar), ROTH retirement accounts, out of state property, minerals, business ownership, property you inherited, or property you had before marriage that you consider significant.
  • Please provide a general value of your assets.    If you are married, include the value of both you and your spouse’s property.  Include the face value of life insurance policies and an estimated value of other property.  Do not take into account any mortgages or liens in this estimate.  Rest assured that the values are relevant only to tax considerations and the economy of administering any trusts, should trusts be an appropriate vehicle for you.  My fee quote is irrespective of the value of your assets.
  • Please provide a general value of your debts.  Include mortgages and other notes payable.

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