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Category Archives: Estate

When Should I Start Estate Planning?

When Should I Start Estate Planning?

Estate planning is critical for protecting your assets in the event of your death. So, when should you start? The answer is now. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, wealthy or living simply. We don’t know what the future holds; there’s no better time than now to protect yourself with an estate plan.

Why You Should Start Estate Planning ASAP

Many believe that estate planning should be reserved for the wealthy or those with many assets such as real estate. The truth is that estate planning is important for all of us for many reasons. For example, estate planning:

  1. Helps you provide for your loved ones: If you have children, an estate plan is a great way to protect them in the event of your death. Without a plan, the court will decide who receives what part of your assets. A plan gives you the power to outline who receives what, when and how. It also enables you to choose who will take care of your children on your behalf.
  2. Reduces costs: Estate plans come with tax benefits that can save your family serious cash, giving them one less thing to worry about as they mourn.
  3. Allows you to outline your healthcare decisions: An estate plan can outline your wishes should you become incapacitated at any time. This includes whether you wish to be resuscitated as well as who you want to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so on your own.

How to Get Started Estate Planning

Ready to get started? First, we highly encourage you to avoid do-it-yourself wills. These cookie-cutter documents don’t provide the adequate protection you need. Instead, we recommend reaching out to an experienced estate planning attorney.

Once you reach out to an attorney, there are a few things you should prep. Start by gathering your real estate deeds, life insurance policy information or any other documents that pertain to your assets.

Next, take some time to consider how you want to distribute your estate. This includes when you want your estate distributed (after your death or at another time) and to whom. Finally, consider who you wish to set as your executors and healthcare agents.

Ready to Start Estate Planning? Call Our Attorneys Today!

If you’re ready to start estate planning, we’re ready to support you. Our Ft. Worth attorneys have years of experience in drafting wills, trusts and more to help protect family assets. To learn more about estate planning, give us a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

 

 

How Property Is Divided During a Divorce in Texas

A divorce is a stressful time with many moving parts, including the division of property. If you’re considering a divorce, you might be wondering how your marital assets and property will be divided in court. States divide property using one of two methods: community property division and equitable division.

Texas Is a Community Property State

In Texas, property is divided using the community property method. This means that the property acquired during your marriage belongs to both you and your spouse and must be divided equally. 

What Is Separate Property?

The only property not eligible for division is separate property—property you or your spouse owned before the marriage. For example, if you receive an inheritance from a family member before the marriage, you’ll be able to keep it. Other examples of separate property include gifts and recoveries from individual legal proceedings.

For any property to be separate, you must prove it belongs to you in court. This may be as simple as providing bank statements or other documentation. In other cases, you may require the assistance of a divorce attorney.

The Division of Community Property

For property that’s considered community property, Texas law requires the court to divide the property fairly and equitably. There are many factors when considering who receives what portion. For example, the court will consider fault in the dissolution of marriage, child custody, employability of each spouse and more.

What About Our Family Business?

If you and your spouse’s business was created during your marriage, it’s eligible for equal division at the point of divorce. If it’s a small business such as a sole proprietorship, you may be able to keep your assets. Yet, if you own a corporation with many assets, it may need to be divided. The court will do what’s best for you and your business.

Allow Us to Help You Through Your Divorce

Property division can be tough, and you shouldn’t handle it on your own. Allow the team at Schneider Law Firm, P.C. help you through. To learn more about your divorce, give our Ft. Worth law office a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

The Dangers of Living Without an Estate Plan

When you hear the word “estate,” you may think it doesn’t apply to you. After all, estates are often thought to only include large assets such as mansions and financial wealth. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

What Is an Estate? 

An estate is everything you own including your home, finances, vehicles and beyond. The amount of your property doesn’t matter, it all still falls under the general term “estate. An estate plan, at its most basic, is a set of instructions detailing what to do with all of your assets in the event of your death.

3 Risks of Living Without an Estate Plan

When completed in advance, an estate plan will protect your assets and your family from a variety of risks.

1. The Court Decides How to Divvy Up Your Assets

If you don’t put into writing your beneficiaries and who receives what assets, the court will decide who gets what in the event of your death. Unfortunately, the court doesn’t understand the unique dynamics of your family and may not follow through in a way that works best for them or in a way that best reflects what you wish to have happen. 

2. Your Children May Not Be Fully Protected

Having a will and an estate plan is the only way to fully protect your children. If they’re under 18 at the time of your death, your estate plan will outline how they should be cared for and what assets they’re entitled to. Without these in place, not only will the court decide what assets they receive and when, but they’ll also decide who will raise the children if both parents are no longer living.

3. Your Family Could Be Stuck With the Consequences

One of the components of an estate plan is loosening some of the tax burdens for your loved ones. Without an estate plan in place, those who receive assets could be stuck with a large bill due to federal, state and inheritance taxes. 

Beyond the financial burden, families are often left reeling from your death while attempting to split your assets. Fires flare and families begin to fight back and forth, sometimes resulting in drawn-out courtroom battles.

Estate Plan
817-755-1852 – An estate plan is the only way to protect your family and your assets in the event of your death. To learn more, visit us today.

Only an Estate Plan Can Prevent These Risks

An estate plan will protect your family, your children and your assets. It will ensure your wishes are carried out in the way you want them to be. If you don’t have a plan in place, or if yours is outdated in any way, we recommend calling an experienced estate planning attorney for help. Reach out to our Fort Worth, TX, firm today by calling 817-755-1852 to learn more.