What Types Of Estates Do We Handle?
Whether your estate is simple or complex, Oxner Legha Law Firm is here to help you define your objectives and create a Last Will and Testament and an estate plan that suits you and your family and meets the requirements of Texas. We are a Texas-based law firm that intimately understands the Texas Estates Code, which governs the requirements of a Texas will. We are based in Cypress but surrounded by Houston. We have drafted wills for clients all over Texas and for individuals living abroad who have a property in Texas. A change in circumstances is usually why a person/family may want a Will to be drafted: getting married, having a baby, getting a divorce or undergoing a surgery. We will walk you through the choices as they relate to your specific situation and family dynamic to help you determine how your property should be divided and who to name your executor and trustee.
Is it expensive to get a Will Done?
No. While you may feel that having a will drafted is an unnecessary expense, the costs of administrating an estate without a will in Texas can be more expensive than if you had a proper will, which is a cost to be borne by your estate, leaving less to your beneficiaries.
How do I avoid Probate of my estate?
Click here to learn more about avoiding probate.
How do I select the right law firm to help with my will and trust?
Selecting the right law firm is just as important as the documents themselves when it comes to drafting a Will or Estate Plan. Yes, there are a lot of online companies out there that make it really simple to draft a will, but there are a lot of considerations that go into the process. Moreover, there are a lot of documents that can be drafted to create an effective estate plan. Anyone who has gone through the probate process knows that it can be very complicated and stressful, especially at a time when a loved one has passed away.
What documents do I need for estate planning?
One single missing document like the self-proving affidavit or lacking an original will can be costly and time-consuming. We draft and execute multiple wills, we scan them in and send our clients digital copies, and we will also/probate-and-estate-planning/will-codicil/ execute as many estate documents as our clients desire. We also instruct our clients what to do with their wills and power of attorney documents once they are signed. We also will file the estate documents with the appropriate courts if so needed.
What does the law firm do with the wills once they are drafted and signed?
Although we do not recommend filing the will and estate documents with the court in all situations, we are happy to do so on behalf of our clients. Our service is provided in getting to know our clients when we sit down with them and learn whether we think there may be a will contest, if there are minor children we need to consider for a trust or a testamentary trust, whether or not there are some individuals listed in the will that have special considerations, we want to understand the dynamic so that we can create the most personalized estate plan possible.
What is the cost of a will or estate package?
We do all of this for a flat fee cost when drafting the wills and estate documents so that you do not have to worry about a surprise bill at the end of the entire process. If you die without a will, your estate may be forced to have an attorney ad litem appointed who will be called to do an heirship proceeding before an administration can take place. Read more here.
When should I get a Will?
While no one wants to think about the inevitable, you do not want to burden your loved ones further by having them guess what your last wishes were. Wills may incorporate trusts and guardianship appointments, among many other things. The last thing you would want to do is to not plan for the future and leave your loved ones bereaved and looking for someone to answer to how you wanted your estate distributed and to whom.
What other documents should I get?
Just as important as a Last Will and Testament, is a Power of Attorney document. With people living longer and unfortunately developing memory issues, an effective Power of Attorney document in place prior to that occurring can save a lot of time and money when helping someone who can no longer act on their own.
Should I get a Power of Attorney done by a law firm?
Without a valid Power of Attorney Document, the person who seeks to care for the individual or take care of their affairs may be required to be adjudicated that person’s guardian through the Probate Court. If there is already a valid Power of Attorney document in place, there is a good chance that no court intervention will be required.
How do I get started with estate planning?
It is very easy. You do not need anything. Just come in and meet with us. When we are contacted by an individual or couple wanting to learn more about planning their estate, we set them up for a consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.
How long does a consultation last for a will?
Generally the consultation lasts an hour, during which point the attorney will go over the probate process and explain what documents are generally needed to plan an estate. All of our estate documents are a single flat rate fee, so you do not have to worry about receiving unexpected invoices or an hourly rate.
The below documents are the most commonly requested for estate planning:
- Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
- Durable General Power of Attorney
- Certification of Durable Power of Attorney by Agent
- Medical Power of Attorney
- HIPAA Release
- HIPAA Release – Health & Safety Code § 181 154(d)
- Directive to Physician
- Codicil to Will
- Gift by a Living Donor Exhibit
- Revocation of Powers of Attorney
- Declaration of Guardian
- Supported Decision-Making Agreement
- Declaration for Mental Health Treatment
- Declaration of Appointment of Guardian for My Child
- Appointment for Disposition of Remains
- Revocable Transfer on Death Deed
- Cancellation of Transfer on Death Deed
- Will with Testamentary Trust
Setting up a trust
Setting up a trust can be an effective method of protecting, preserving, and later, distributing your wealth. A trust can be an important part of your estate plan depending on your circumstances and objectives. There are many types of trusts that you can create depending on your desired objectives.
Here are just a few Trusts that Oxner Legha Law Firm can create for you:
This is a type of trust that is created for the benefit of a designated person or persons, where the funds are held in trust until that person becomes a certain age or achieves a specified event. As an example, you may create a trust for the benefit of your children for the purpose of paying for their college tuition.
While this trust does not require a specific beneficiary, this trust never pays estate taxes and you may set it up where a charity receives the income from the trust now and your family would later receive the trust assets.
Special Needs Trust:
These trusts are established for the purpose of taking care of a loved one who may be disabled or elderly.
A Testamentary Trust is a trust that is created through a will. When the will is probated it may leave gifts, money, land or some other bequest to a trust, which names beneficiaries instead of directly giving the bequest to the beneficiaries outright.
Will Contest and Disputes
Our goal in drafting your estate documents is to avoid a will contest or probate contests. We actually insert no contest clauses in our wills. We have handled will contests before and are keenly aware of the law surrounding will contests.