It’s Never Too Early To Get Your Affairs In Order
Estate planning attorneys serving Texas and Oklahoma
Having children or experiencing a serious health scare are among the top reasons people start estate planning. But it’s wise to get your affairs in order before you are in a situation where you may not be able to voice them.
At its most basic, estate planning includes the establishment of legal documents such as wills, power of attorney, health care directives, living trusts, privacy authorization, executor designation, kid protection plans, and more. A major goal of estate planning is to protect the assets you want to leave to your loved ones from being drained by taxes or creditors.
Estate plans can address:
- Instructions to care for your kids
- Terms for health care
- Power of attorney authorization
- Document release (HIPAA is often addressed here)
- Instructions for your funeral
- Organ donation
Hoover Rogers Law, LLP offers estate planning services to people in the Wichita Falls and Lawton area. We get to know our clients personally and create legally authoritative contracts to enforce your end-of-life wishes and protect your assets.
As fathers ourselves, we understand firsthand the importance of planning for your family’s future.
Get protection and peace of mind, from our family to yours.
Protecting your wealth
The more money you have, the more work must be done to protect your assets from over taxation and creditors. But no matter what you have, you need to take action to protect your legacy. Our attorneys establish contracts aimed at giving your beneficiaries the intended inheritance you left for them.
You can stop a major upheaval in your family before it even begins by setting out clear wishes for your end-of-life care, funeral, and estate division.
Hoover Rogers Law uses strategies so you can avoid paying undue taxes and fees or having your estate go to creditors. We establish protective arrangements like:
- Lifetime Asset Protection Trusts
- Marital Trusts
- Tax Protection Trusts
- Beneficiary designations
- Transfer on death designations
The Hoover Rogers Difference
When you get your estate planning services from Hoover Rogers Law, you have a whole team working to put your plans in place. You won’t be treated like a number or given a one-size-fits-all plan; you’ll have access to a Personal Family Lawyer® committed to making the most of your time and creating an individualized estate plan that will continue to work throughout your lifetime. (Learn more about what it means to be a Personal Family Lawyer® here.)
Our legal staff is responsive. We won’t leave you waiting for hours or days for a phone call back. If you need to schedule a more in-depth legal or strategic call with your Personal Family Lawyer® then you can call our office or schedule online.
Our estate planning attorneys make sure that the most important details of your planning are followed through. We utilize a funding coordinator to ensure your assets are managed well and a unique membership program to keep your plans up to date year-in and year-out.
Your estate planning relationship starts with us at your first Family Wealth Planning Session. Before this, however, you will fill out some documents that will have you feeling more organized and put together than maybe you’ve felt in a long time.
At the session, we will look at what would happen to all your assets and loved ones if anything were to happen to you. Then we can determine a strategy designed to get things done your way.
Estate planning documents
There are many types of documents that may be created during estate planning. The following is a description of the more common ones. Your estate planning lawyer’s job is to ensure that these documents protect your interests and will hold up in court.
Kids’ Protection Plans
Establishing who will take care of your children if you and your spouse or another caretaker dies is often a driving force behind estate planning. Designating a guardian can be complicated. Hoover Rogers Law can help you establish a kids’ protection plan that will ensure your children are provided for until they can take care of themselves.
Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament, often known simply as a will, expresses your wishes for how your money and property (your estate) will be distributed. It also designates a personal representative or executor who will manage your property until it is distributed. People often hire professional executors to head off any family disagreements about who is chosen.
When writing your last will and testament you may want to also establish a trust. The difference between a will and a trust is that a will simply hands assets over to the beneficiaries while a trust is itself a financial entity that sets terms and conditions for distribution of resources. A trust will help keep you out of court and out of conflict.
A trust is managed by your designated trustee(s). The trustee controls the assets and distribution. Trusts are often established to:
- Distribute money to surviving family members such as children and grandchildren
- Leave assets behind to people who are not immediate family members or are family through marriage
- Manage finances for maximum gain until they are to be distributed
- Arrange when and under what conditions the money may be used
- How often the money is distributed
Power Of Attorney
A power of attorney authorizes a pre-determined person to act on your behalf. Powers of attorney are used in many situations, but as far as estate planning is concerned, the main purpose is to choose someone who can carry out your wishes if you are incapacitated, e.g., during your final period of injury or illness.
After a person dies, the power of attorney ends, and the executor of the estate takes control of making sure your wishes are carried out.
To establish power of attorney you need to legally designate a trusted person, usually a family member, close relation, or professional to advocate for your wishes.
A health care proxy or health care power of attorney explains your wishes for end-of-life care like what types of extreme measures would you want taken to stay alive after a bad incident. You may specify specific medical treatments to use and create a do not resuscitate clause in a living will.
Answering hard questions about your end-of-life care now will save your family from having to agree on the right treatment for you in a very difficult moment.
Investment Management Contracts
Investment management is an important aspect of estate planning that should not be overlooked.
It is particularly important if your surviving family members are not financially savvy. You can pre-establish relationships for management services and financial advisors for your loved ones so that they don’t wind up taking advice from an underhanded accountant who drains your estate.
Some people choose to leave money to nonprofits as well as loved ones. Top nonprofits to include in estate planning include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to a Trust & Will survey.
What is your legacy?
When you are considering the legacy that you want to leave behind, estate planning can help you form concrete ideas and measures that will carry them out.
Without an estate plan, you leave decisions on the division of your estate to the government. With so many cases to handle, the U.S. tries to dispatch with unassigned estates quickly. That doesn’t leave much time to consider and research what the deceased would have wanted.
Your assets could end up in the Division of Unclaimed Property. Texas has over $6 billion in unclaimed property as of 2021.
If you already have documents prepared, reviewing your estate plans annually can make sure that you are set up to get exactly what you want for end-of-life care and ceremony.
Everyone needs an estate plan
Ultimately, regardless of the size of your estate, planning is for everyone. Not creating an estate plan can lead to family rifts as siblings and loved ones fight over end-of-life decisions and inheritance. These disagreements are rarely fueled by greed; they’re created out of confusion and grief.
Some websites and books offer do-it-yourself or template estate planning documents, but these do not explain how the law applies specifically to your situation. The basic write-ups do not provide the context and advice you need on your end-of-life care and wishes. For that, you need a qualified estate planning attorney familiar with your exact needs and situations.
Hoover Rogers Law, LLP gets to know our clients on a personal level so that we can create solid documents that truly represent your wishes. We stay up to date on the changing inheritance and tax laws that affect estate planning.
Our law firm can guide you through the process and prepare the legally binding papers you need to spell out your way.
Start planning today. Contact us now.
Contact Hoover Rogers Law to learn more about our estate planning services and how we can help make this difficult time clearer for your loved ones.
We create contracts that give you control over your life and estate, even in future situations where you may not be able to voice them yourself. Our attorneys work hard to get to know you so that the plans we make are the right fit for your needs.
The time to start planning is today. Call, email, or chat online with a member of our team to learn more about what we can do for you. We are ready to hear from you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.