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Estate Planning & Probate in Houston, Texas

Superior Client Service from a Houston Estate Planning Law Firm

Estate planning and probate are complex areas of the law. While estate planning involves preparing for the future and getting your affairs organized, probate is the process that occurs once an individual passes away and involves the distribution of their estate. The more organized an estate is, the easier probate can become. At Shepherd & Associates, we can provide you with exceptional legal counsel. The Houston lawyer at our firm has over 36 years of experience he can put to work for your case involving:

Asset Distribution
The distribution of a decedent's assets will rely heavily upon the existence of a will or a trust. If there is no will or trust then the decedent's assets will be distributed to the heirs-at-law. If someone dies without a will, then undesired results can occur and animosity between beneficiaries and heirs can cause delays and additional costs. This is especially the case when there are second marriages and children from a previous marriage or relationship.

Benefits of Probate
In Texas, probate is legally required in order to prove that a will is valid or invalid. One of the main benefits of probate is that it ensures that the family's rights and the rights of the beneficiaries are protected. These parties are afforded these protections because the court monitors the executor or administrator's actions throughout the process.

Wills & Trusts
These are both important legal documents that are used to protect your assets and make sure that your loved ones stay protected. A will is used as a set of instructions that gets left behind after your death and incorporates the name of a guardian for your minor children, how you want your assets distributed and so forth. A trust is used to hold various assets for the benefit of your loved ones. You can speak with our estate planning attorney and determine which document is most suitable for your needs.

Estate Planning
Through the process of estate planning, you can play an important part in protecting you, your family, and your hard-earned property. Whether you pass away, become incapacitated, or become unable to make important decisions for yourself, estate planning can ensure you stay in control no matter what happens. Without planning for your estate, the court become responsible for deciding who becomes your minor child's legal guardian, who becomes responsible for taking care of you, and where your estate goes.

Probate Administration
The probate process occurs once an individual passes away and involves the distribution of the deceased's estate. Probate administration becomes the job of an appointed individual to make sure the estate is properly distributed and the affairs of the deceased/decedent are in order. If you have been appointed in the decedent's will or by the court, we can guide you through the steps involved with either the Independent Administration of Estates or the Dependent Administration of Estates.

Inheritance Law
When a will is not created by the decedent, their assets are then passed down through the inheritance laws in Texas. These regulations, also referred to as the "intestate succession" laws, are used as guidelines by the court to properly pass the assets down to the family members of the decedent. Learn more about these laws and whether you would be included in a family member's inheritance with our experienced attorney.

Asset Protection
In order to protect your assets, no matter how valuable they may be, a trust should be created. Specifically, an irrevocable trust can be used to keep creditors and lawsuits from going after your hard-earned assets. We can help you learn more about the various benefits of creating an irrevocable trust and how they are used to protect your assets.

Guardianships are used to protect minor children as well as incapacitated or disabled adults. By creating this type of legal document for your minor children, you can feel safer knowing they will be in safe hands if you pass away or become unable to take care of them. If you become incapacitated or disabled, a person is appointed by the court to step in and make important decisions for you. Our firm can assist you with creating a guardianship as well as learning more about these different types of guardianships.

Estate Taxes
Estate taxes are applied to an estate after the death of an individual. While Texas does not place a "state tax" onto the estate, there is a "federal tax" that you do need to be mindful of. We can help you properly plan for your estate so that you can minimize the taxes involved and pass down as much of your property to your loved ones as possible. There is no need for your hard-earned estate to be taxed into extinction after you pass away.

Living Wills
This type of legal document is also referred to as an advanced directive. It is created as a precautionary document used to reflect your medical treatment preferences. If and when you become incapacitated and can no longer make important health care decisions for yourself, your living will goes into effect. This can help you feel more at ease in knowing that you will still have a say in your medical care, even if you can no longer voice your opinions.

Speak about your estate planning needs with an attorney in Harris County, TX!

Estate planning and probate law can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with. By speaking with a Harris County lawyer at our firm, we can provide you with the necessary tools and information to get started. Our goal is to help you make important legal decisions for yourself so that you can feel confident in whatever is to come. Whether you want to create an effective estate plan or you have been appointed to handle the probate administration process, now is the time to speak with Shepherd & Associates and learn more about the options that are available to you.

Contact a Houston County probate lawyer from our firm to begin your case and get started with a free phone consultation immediately!

Shepherd & Associates - Houston Estate Planning Lawyer
Located at 14090 Southwest Freeway, Suite 300
Sugar Land, TX 77478
Phone: (713) 993-7791

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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(713) 993-7791