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Wills & Estates

A probate attorney handles all aspects of wills and estate planning. When you need to write and file a last testament or will, you should seek the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney like those at Kelly Legal Group. Our probate experts can also represent you in case of disputes over the division of assets after a loved one has passed away.

Do you want to be sure that your spouse or partner, children, family, friends, and charities are all properly provided for? Call Kelly Legal Group today to schedule an estate planning consultation at 512-505-0053 or request an appointment.

Probate Law Services

Kelly Legal Group offers the following probate law services:

Wills

A will is a legally-enforceable document that outlines how your assets and obligations will be handled after you pass away. Assets include real estate, stocks, bank accounts, and all of your belongings. Obligations could be guardianship minor children, adult children with special needs, pets, or sole proprietorship businesses.

Your last will and testament allows you to be in control of the decisions made about your estate. You don’t have to worry about arguments among relatives or misunderstandings about your intentions because your wishes are in writing.

To die without a will is to die “intestate”. That means that the Texas law of intestacy decides who will inherit from you. The decisions made may not be what you would want to happen. In addition, there are costly and time consuming formalities required in administering your estate after you die if you do not have a valid will.

Another type of will we handle at Kelly Legal Group is living wills. A living will tells relatives, caretakers, and doctors what your wishes are in different medical circumstances. Also known as an advance directive, these documents let you take charge of decisions about organ donation, when to resuscitate, and life support.

Standard Will Advisement and Drafting

Some important points to consider in a standard will consultation:

  • The appointment of trusted people (known as executors) to administer your estate in accordance with your wishes in your will.
  • The beneficiaries of your estate.
  • Appointment of legal guardians for any children under 16.
  • Provision for any pets to be cared for.
  • Specific legacies––you may wish to give certain articles and/or fixed cash legacies to specific persons/charities.
  • Funeral Requests––it can ease the burden on your loved ones if there is a will stating what you would wish to happen and who you would wish to organize your funeral. We can let the local undertakers know now what you want to happen when the time comes.

Enhanced Will and Estate Planning Services

Your situation might require more expert advice, such as:

  • Consideration of future care home costs.
  • Trust provision for young children.
  • Trust provision for a disabled person or an older family member who is unable to deal with their own affairs.
  • Trust provision for the protection of assets––for example, in second marriages when you wish your own assets to pass ultimately to your children, or for business assets where there may be succession issues in the next generation.

Litigation

When a loved one passes away without a last will and testament, arguments may arise over the distribution of their assets. Even if a person’s wishes are laid out in a will, it may be contested due to ambiguity in wording. Legal battles over estates are unfortunate but not uncommon. At Kelly Legal Group, we can represent you in all areas of probate litigation.

Sometimes instead of litigating a dispute in civil court, mediation or alternative dispute resolution is a way to iron out differences between the two parties. We can represent you in these situations as well.

Trusts

There are two kinds of trusts we deal with as probate lawyers: revocable and irrevocable. An irrevocable trust is permanent; once your assets are in an irrevocable trust, they cannot be recovered. Because of this permanency, revocable trusts are far more common.

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, can be changed or revoked altogether. They can be set up to distribute assets at a certain time, like when minors reach the age of 18, or in increments over a period of years.

A trust is similar to a will, but it includes some different features. A trust appoints a trustee to carry out the terms. It can include specific stipulations as to how and when funds are disbursed to beneficiaries. A trust is often used in situations where the beneficiary may not be able to practically manage the money. One major benefit to a trust is that it bypasses probate, which is the legal process of carrying out the instructions in a will.  Assets in a trust are not subject to probate, so transfer to beneficiaries is a more seamless process than with a traditional will.

Power of Attorney

When you give someone power of attorney, they are charged with carrying out decisions for you when you’re physically or mentally incapacitated. Powers of attorney can be given broadly or they can apply to specific areas only, like finances and healthcare.

Estate and Gift Tax Planning

Whether you’re thinking of taxes for the recipients of your assets or you’re dealing with taxes for assets you’ve received after a loved one’s passing, it takes a skilled attorney to navigate the ins and outs of estate tax law.

Other Probate Attorney Services

The services listed above are the most common reasons why you might need a probate attorney, but they are not the only reasons. Healthcare and Medicaid planning, guardianships, business succession, and marital property agreements are also handled by probate lawyers. 

Contact Us for a Consultation

Kelly Legal Group has the skilled probate attorneys you need to protect your interests in disputes and carry out your wishes for your estate. Consider us your partner throughout the legal process. Call Kelly Legal Group today at 512-505-0053 to schedule a consultation or contact us online to request an appointment.