Board Certified, Estate Planning and Probate Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
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Asset Protection Will
A Will allows you to direct the disposition of your property and administration of your estate at death.
Each Will may be made by only one testator (person making a Will) using this site. Joint Wills (one Will made by two or more people), which are a bad idea for a number of reasons, cannot be prepared.
This type of Will, an Asset Protection Will, is appropriate for planning situations in which you desire to protect the assets given to a beneficiary from the claims of creditors, spouse, or others. This type of protection may also allow a survivor to preserve assets, while qualifying for governmental assistance programs, as where medical expenses are incurred that would otherwise require expending substantially all assets before qualification.
This type of Will should not be used by anyone with an estate subject to estate or other transfer taxes. If in doubt about this, consult a tax advisor or attorney, since if you have a taxable estate use of this Will may have a very high tax cost for your beneficiaries. If your estate is in excess of $1 million, you should consult an attorney to determine if additional planning is appropriate.
All gifts to beneficiaries having a value in excess of $1,000 are through an Asset Protection Trust. If over 30, the beneficiary is appointed as Trustee, if under 30, your Protective Trustee is appointed Trustee.
Basic planning patterns offered, include:
- All to spouse, then up to five children in equal shares if no spouse;
- All to spouse, then up to nine designated beneficiaries if no spouse;
- All to up to five children; and
- All to up to nine designated beneficiaries
Any of these choices also allow specific as well as general gifts, which are gifts of particular property to particular beneficiaries. You may make gifts to up to eight beneficiaries or classes of beneficiaries, with a gift of the remainder of your property to the selected class. Specific gifts are funded in the order entered.
It provides for an Independent Executor to administer your estate without court supervision or bond. You may designate a first, second, and third choice.
It provides for a protective trust for beneficiaries under age 25 or those not able to manage their own affairs due to incapacity, and allows you designate a first, second, and third choice of the person to manage the property held in trust.
It allows you to designate a guardian of the person of your minor child or children, who is the person who would raise your child or children. It also allows you to designate a guardian of the estate of your minor child or children, who is the person who would manage property legally titled in your child or children.
It provides a trust which may be used for coordinating the disposition of non-probate property (such as life insurance, qualified retirement plans, and IRAs).
Who should not use this Will.
You should not use this Will:
- If you have no children, but are expecting a child, and wish to provide for your child
- If you have more than 5 children
- If you have step-children who you wish to treat as your children in your Will
- If you wish to make specific gifts to more than eight beneficiaries (either groups or individuals)
- If you have an taxable estate in excess of the current exemption
This Will is not appropriate for complex planning situations: mixed families (children from multiple marriages) and gifts to beneficiaries divided in complex ways. It is not appropriate if an intended beneficiary has special long-term management needs, such special-needs children.
Some other situations which may require planning in addition to that which may be implemented through this Will include non-traditional relationships, and property which requires additional planning, such as privately held businesses with more than one owner.
If you own real property outside of Texas, you should consult an attorney to determine if additional planning is appropriate. Although this Texas Will is effective to dispose of property whereever owned, additional planning may minimize expense and inconvenience to your beneficiaries.
If in doubt about the appropriateness of the Will for your needs, you should feel free to call for traditional services, or contact the lawyer of your choice.
If, after preparing a Will or other documents using this site, you decide to engage the firm for traditional representation in your estate planning, the full amount paid will be credited against fees.
For additional general discussion, see Estate Planning: Frequently Asked Questions.
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