Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Plano, Texas Helps Secure Your Future
Personalized assistance with asset protection and inheritance strategies
In more than 15 years of practice, we’ve found that, almost without exception, the people of Plano, Texas are hardworking and devoted to their families. That’s why a core area of our practice is dedicated to helping our neighbors in Plano protect their assets, secure their retirements, and pass on as much wealth as possible to their heirs. When you come to the Law Offices of Kevan I. Benkowitz for estate planning, you get personalized service, genuine concern, and meticulous care in designing a plan that fits your needs and accomplishes your goals for the future.
Prudent planning benefits estates of all sizes in the Dallas–Fort Worth area
Too many people have the mistaken impression that estate planning is a service only for the rich. Certainly, the wealthy use estate planning strategies to great advantage, but that doesn’t mean estate planning is an expensive luxury or that those same strategies can’t help people of moderate or modest means. In our practice, we have helped blue-collar workers as well as wealthy investors protect their hard-earned assets through effective strategies that include:
- Liability insurance
- Tax planning
- Living wills
- Powers of attorney
The right combination of estate planning tools protects your assets from liability and taxation and allows you to enjoy your property during your lifetime before transferring it seamlessly to your heirs.
Understanding the basics of wills and trusts in Texas
Two tools are most important for managing your assets and protecting your family’s future: your last will and testament and one or more trusts. You can use each of these instruments to convey property to your heirs, but it’s important to understand some major differences:
- Wills — A will is relatively easy and inexpensive to execute. This document allows you to dictate where your property goes, but it must go through the probate process. Texas does not have an estate tax, but estates valued at greater than $5.49 million (2017 limit) are subject to federal estate and gift taxes. A will does nothing to mitigate these taxes. A court can invalidate a poorly drafted or improperly executed will in whole or in part. If that happens, the court could order your property distributed according to the state’s laws of inheritance, so some of your heirs could be left out entirely. To prevent that from happening, consult an experienced attorney who will take the time to learn the details of your holdings and understand your goals for the legacy you want to leave.
- Trusts — Anyone with a large enough estate to trigger federal taxes should establish a trust to reduce or eliminate that liability. However, individuals with less wealth may also want a trust if their personal circumstances require them to place conditions on the gifts they want to leave. For example, if you have an heir who lacks the capacity to manage money, or an heir who is dependent on government benefits, it would not be prudent to leave a large lump sum. A trust allows you to give your heir an income, managed by a trustee. You can also use trusts to provide for children from a first marriage or keep a beloved vacation home in the family for all your children to enjoy.
We give your estate plan the personalized care necessary to cover the unique circumstances of your life and the legacy you want to leave loved ones.
Contact our Plano, TX law firm for personalized estate planning services
Whether you are a wage worker or a CEO, the Law Offices of Kevan I. Benkowitz can craft an individualized estate plan to meet your goals for the future. We offer free consultations for new estate planning clients, so you can experience for yourself the difference in service. Call us at 972-464-2645 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.