Williamson County Estate Planning Attorney
Williamson County estate planning attorney, Richard J Cahan, helps residents of Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander and beyond draft their Wills, Living Revocable Trusts, and other critical estate planning documents to protect individuals and their families. For those who have own a business or have accumulated substantial assets, thoughtful estate planning is key to preserving property for the next generation.
Williamson County individuals with modest estates – including a home, bank accounts, retirement plan, investments, jewelry, guns and grandpa’s coin collection will appreciate the benefits of an affordable, custom-tailored solution that can be updated every 5 or 10 years as life’s circumstances change.
As an experienced estate planning attorney, Richard J Cahan assist local Williamson County clients in the drafting wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives and ‘Living Revocable Trusts — whatever the client chooses after reviewing the various options. Richard offers fixed fees for many packages: totally affordable.
Williamson County Probate
Williamson County Probate – For those who have just lost a loved one, attorney Cahan is here to offer legal counsel and any assistance you might require starting the complicated Texas Probate process. Richard can be tasked with handling your Probate for you completely or called upon on an ‘as-needed basis’ for the more complicated issues or court appearances for those too emotionally stressed and anxious. Richard offers affordable assistance to Executors and Trustees administering the Probate, Trust and estate administration process. Any legal fees for Probate legal work is paid by the estate – not a family member, Executor or Trustee.
MORE ABOUT PROBATE
Estate Planning Overview
From Williamson County estate planning attorney Richard J Cahan:
I am Williamson County estate planning attorney Richard J Cahan. When you require assistance drafting your estate plan, caring for aging parents, or need an experienced attorney’s help with the probate process, my Williamson County Probate & estate planning law firm offers top-drawer legal services coupled with both fixed and affordable hourly fees.
As the years pass, we wonder: “What will become of all the property I’ve accumulated?” Generally, people know which asset goes to whom, but everyone is concerned: “How can I be sure this asset will be sure to go the person you intend?” That’s the foundation stone of what estate planning is all about.
Williamson County Estate Planning, Wills Trusts, and Probate lawyer, Richard J Cahan, delivers top-drawer estate planning, trust, and probate services centered around what is important to people: their family and everything they’ve worked for.
We all have family and friends with all kinds of expensive toys: RV’s, boats, guns, ATV’s, etc. For most people, there’s a family home, cars and trucks, furniture and a mix of personal property. Through your Will or Trust, you will dictate where each of those go and who you will bless.
When you are ready, be assured, you will not interact with a staffer, a paralegal or even a junior attorney. I will be your attorney. My Williamson County estate planning law firm is structured it so everyone can afford one-on-one first-class legal services with an experienced attorney.
Together, by phone, in my office, in your home, at your childhood home to meet with your aging parents, we will begin to create your estate plan. Based on your needs, it can be as simple as a Will, some Powers of Attorney and Health care directive, or it may include a trust, if you decide you want more protection and allow your heirs to avoid the long and expensive Probate process. No matter what you decide, I will draft those estate planning documents you choose.
Should we begin the process by phone, we will likely meet when your documents are ready for signature. Remember, as the process goes forward, I will explain each document and its value to you. There is usually some ‘back and forth’ to get everything regarding your assets and beneficiaries ‘reading’ the way you envision. When you are pleased with the custom-tailored language, we can meet up at my office or your location for final witnessed and notarized signatures. In a short time, you will have an affordable, protective, legal estate plan that uniquely-addresses your unique needs and desires. It will protect what is yours, and make sure that your heirs and loved ones don’t inherit a mess to clean up, but instead, will appreciate all that you’ve done for them. They’ll realize that you took the time necessary create a Will, maybe a Trust and other powerful documents to make SURE that the State of Texas does not rudely butt into their lives making more stressful that which will already be a time of significant emotion.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will or Trust?
You choose the “State of Texas DEFAULT Estate Plan.” The State of Texas takes over as the “decider” of who gets what if you have NO Will, Trust or Estate Plan. That’s a horrible thing to allow to happen to your loved ones. State government bureaucrats get involved in your private family affairs. If you don’t make a legal estate plan (Will, Trust, Health Care Directive), then complete strangers can decide the fate of your stuff, even the guardianship of minor children, because you failed to specify those desires in a legal document.
Don’t allow the local County Probate Court, Probate judges and government bureaucrats to intervene! If you don’t make a Will or Estate Plan, the County of Williamson, for the State of Texas will make decisions for your spouse, kids, and loved ones that are often 180-degrees opposite of what you would have wanted to happen. Sadly, the documents that can prevent this outcome, take two or three simple sit-down meetings. Moreover, the costs are not a huge deal.
Upshot – Don’t leave your spouse, kids, grand kids and loved-ones a mess the government must unravel. You can take care EVERYTHING with just a couple of meetings with me, your Greater Austin area Probate and estate planning lawyer, Richard J Cahan.
I will personally help you create an estate plan of your choosing: from a very simple Will to a more elaborate estate plan should you have significant income and lots of assets. As your Williamson County estate planning attorney, I will personally create all the estate documents you choose to include in your estate plan. I will also handle all interactions with the courts and government entities on your behalf. Call and speak with me personally –or TEXT me if you want– at (512) 256-6699.
Texas Estate Planning Lawyers
As your Williamson County Texas estate planning lawyer, I counsel and assist Williamson County residents in creating tailored estate plans for the transition of their assets to selected beneficiaries. Beneficiaries typically include spouses, kids, grand kids, friends, and charities. My Boston area estate planning law practice offers expert estate planning and other legal services, at affordable fees.
Estate Planning Services We Offer:
- Living Wills
- Will Contests — When your rightful inheritance is in jeopardy.
- Living Trusts
- Revocable Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Supplemental Needs Trusts
- Trust Contests — When would-be beneficiaries are wrongfully disinherited from estate.
- Probate Administration
- Probate Contests — When you contest a Will during or after Probate.
- Powers of Attorney | Durable Power of Attorney
“Wills” are sometimes called “Simple Wills.” Making a Will is a good place to start for single persons, couples who rent rather than own, and those without significant assets such that you would have to pay estate taxes if you should unexpectedly pass in the coming years.
So many people don’t have a Will or any kind of estate plan. People hesitate to make a Will because it seems difficult. With my one-on-one help it will be a snap. If you’ve been procrastinating for years, don’t feel guilty, instead, decide right now to call me personally at (512) 256-6699.
As your personal attorney, I will take the time necessary to learn about your life, your family, and your long-term desires. Then, I will create for you a Will and some necessary companion documents. This will become a straight-forward, Will-based estate plan that will protect you and your family.
For most people, a Will-based estate plan will consist of:
- Advance Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney
MORE ABOUT WILLS
A “Living Will” is another term for “Advance Health Care Directive.” An “advance health care directive,” also referred to as a “living will”, provides written instructions to family members and medical professionals regarding extraordinary life support measures and end-of-life care.
If you were in a severe car accident resulting in you being in a coma, how would your doctors and family members know your wishes? I can create for you a Health Care Proxy that will designate another person to make medical decisions on your behalf, if you are unable to. A “Living Will” is a legal document where you will list medical treatments that you would agree to — or not agree to — should you ever become incapacitated or terminally ill and are unable to make your own decisions.
Don’t worry that you don’t know about medical treatments and scenarios. As your Williamson County Living Will attorney, I will quiz you about medical treatments and situations such as coma, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, and brain death (persistent vegetative state). You can then choose your decisions for each.
An “advance health care directive” is more than a typical doctor’s office check list where you look over 200 conditions you might have had. Instead, you will go on record whether you want some “heroic measures,” taken. For example, you could choose to ‘opt in’ for CPR, resuscitation, blood transfusions, but chose to ‘opt out’ of being on a ventilator for weeks or months if your doctors determine that you are in a persistent vegetative state.
Your “living will package” of documents can also let your family know if you’d prefer to remain in a hospital or be cared for at home with a home care professional. If you are dying, you can determine who you want by your bedside — and who do you want not to be there. If you feel that young children or grandchildren might me emotionally impacted, you can choose to shield them from that experience. All these decisions are yours to make, and your wishes will be followed if you take a little time to create your “Living Will.”
MORE ABOUT LIVING WILLS
“Will Contests” are very common and arise during the Probate process. In fact, we are regularly contacted by out-of-state ‘would-be beneficiaries’ who have learned that some or all of their expected inheritance has been diverted to a sibling, or a non-family care giver. One typical scenario is that a neighbor to the beneficiaries’ childhood home will reach out to a now-married beneficiary living outside of Texas on Facebook and comment that “your childhood house is up for sale” what’s up with that? That will be the first they heard that their parents’ home is being sold without their knowledge or input raising all manner of red flags.
We are an experienced Williamson County Texas Will Contest law firm. We can help you contest a Will that may have been altered recently by someone using ‘undue influence’ or outright fraud. We can also help you dispute ongoing Probate proceedings. If your parents’ home (your rightful inheritance) is listed for sale, we can file suit to halt the sale until a proper determination of inheritance is established in the local Probate Court.
MORE ABOUT WILL CONTESTS
Living Trusts | Revocable Trusts
“Living Trusts” are also called “Revocable Trusts.” Revocable Trusts (Living Trusts) have many advantages over Wills. Let’s combine the two descriptions and call a Living Trust a “Revocable Living Trust.”
A ‘Revocable Living Trust’ can be a substitute for a Will. A Texas Revocable Living Trust enables you to avoid the excruciating time delays and expenses involved in Probate administration. Furthermore, a Revocable Living Trust allows you to transfer the control of your home (and other assets) to a loved-one quickly, at less cost, without government bureaucrats making family decisions, and without your private family details becoming part of the public record. Lastly, a Revocable Living Trust reduces the possibility of disputes among family members after the death of the grantor (originator) of the trust.
Avoid Probate – The primary advantage of a Revocable Living Trust is avoiding Probate Court. Think about it. You pass away unexpectedly. You know all the emotional trauma an unexpected death can cause. Besides all the disruptions and emotions your loved ones would experience upon your death, your spouse and kids might be unable to move on with their lives for a year or longer! Your spouse might not be able to access some bank accounts to pay the mortgage or bills. If things get financially dicey and your loved ones want to sell a home or other asset, they may not be allowed to UNTIL some Probate judge gives permission. The Probate process takes from 6-months to 12-months and is not cheap. Upshot? Creating an affordable “Revocable Living Trust” will spare your family UNNECESSARY heartache, anxiety, time, and expense following your passing.
Privacy – A Revocable Living Trust keeps family business and details private. A Living Trust, when properly created, keeps your private financial and family member details private! You can prevent government intervention into the lives of your family and heirs. A simple Will often needs to go through the Probate process. That means your confidential family business will become part of the public record where nosy neighbors, co-workers, or anyone can view your family wealth, family squabbles, lists of your assets and property, and who gets what.
Changes Made at Any Time – A Texas Revocable Living Trust can be changed at any time. You create it. You can change it. You will typically transfer all your major assets into the trust (home, bank accounts, other assets) but you continue to enjoy, use, and manage them during your lifetime as if nothing changed.
An Irrevocable trust, cannot be changed, amended or terminated once established. Unlike Revocable Trusts, you cannot access or control assets in Irrevocable Trusts, because the trust is under control of a trustee. Under some circumstances, with the permission of the beneficiaries, changes are allowed.
So, what are Irrevocable Trusts good for?
Irrevocable Trusts are created to address specific family situations: such as gifting of assets to future generations, protecting assets from creditors, and leveraging significant tax advantages.
Tax Advantages – Assets placed in an Irrevocable Trust will not be taxed when you die. Assets placed in an Irrevocable Trust are protected from creditor lawsuits. Finally, an Irrevocable Trust spares your family the need to come up with significant estate taxes. Likely you’ve read or heard news stories of families inheriting the family farm, only to have to immediately sell the inherited farm to pay off the estate taxes! Many of those tragic stories need not have played out so sadly.
Irrevocable Trusts are often used in sizeable estates. As an experienced Austin area estate planning attorney, attorney Cahan can often structure one or more Irrevocable Trusts to reduce the valuation of large estates below state and Federal estate tax exemption thresholds.
An “Irrevocable Family Trust” is a Trust for the benefit of one or more family members. The person who creates the trust (the settlor), specifies certain family members to include in the trust (the beneficiaries). The settlor “funds” property and assets into the Irrevocable Family Trust which is then distributed to the beneficiaries by a designated “trustee” according to the trust’s instructions. The trust is irrevocable and once created, the “settlor” cannot modify or terminate the trust without the consent of the “beneficiaries.”
MORE ABOUT IRREVOCABLE TRUSTS
to take advantage of a free phone consultation or to schedule a sit-down consultation at the office, your home, your business, or even at your corner Starbucks.
Billy Hathorn assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25537047