Fort Worth Estate Planning Attorneys
Comprehensive Estate Plans for Families in Fort Worth and Tarrant County
Death is never a welcome topic of discussion at the dinner table, and families in Fort Worth are just like families everywhere else: you’d rather not think about it.
Making plans now, though, can spare your family a terrible dilemma should the unexpected ever happen.
We all pass away eventually, and when we do, we leave behind people we love. Part of caring for them is doing what it takes now to protect them from legal challenges along the road ahead.
As Fort Worth estate planning lawyers, our office works with families like yours to craft wise and protective plans for their future.
Contrary to popular belief, these plans aren’t just for families of great wealth. Estate planning is for everyone. We all own assets, and we all have people we love.
Those who die without a will — or become incapacitated without the critical documents in place — often leave a very challenging situation behind for their loved ones to sort out. Your estate plan can spare them from going through a messy situation at an emotional time.
An estate plan also makes it possible for your family members to honor your wishes and take the actions you’d want them to take — both in terms of managing your assets and making essential legal or health care decisions for you or your family.
But your estate plan doesn’t need to be complicated (or expensive). On the contrary, for the overwhelming majority of people, estate planning is straightforward and affordable.
Indeed, estate planning often takes less time than clients anticipate, and if the attorney has the right experience, you can complete the process quickly.
Attorney Chris Parvin, who heads up our Fort Worth estate planning practice, is Board Certified in Estate Planning & Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only one percent of the attorneys in Texas have earned that formal distinction from the state bar, and it speaks directly to Mr. Parvin’s extensive experience in this field.
Chris and the attorneys at Parvin Law offer the kind of seasoned insight that foresees potential conflicts and concerns in order to head them off in advance.
At Parvin Law, our goals are:
- Protecting your assets
• Maximizing your taxation benefits
• Minimizing potential surprises in the future
• Crafting language that will put your true wishes into action
• Preventing disputes within your family
To accomplish that, we emphasize flexibility when drafting your estate plan. This empowers you to make updates as your medical, financial, and family circumstances change over time.
No one knows what tomorrow holds. Don’t delay. Contact our office to talk with an experienced estate planning attorney in Fort Worth today.
Wills and Trusts
A will is the basic building block in any estate plan. In some cases, a Last Will and Testament is the only document a person needs. More often, a comprehensive estate plan involves both a will and at least one trust.
Different types of trusts can accomplish different goals, and our Fort Worth estate planning attorneys can help you decide which ones might be appropriate for your family’s specific situation.
For career professionals and individuals of high net worth, asset protection is among the most important functions of the estate plan. It’s critical that your documents carefully consider all your assets and the various taxation, liability, and disposition issues that might arise in the future.
Trusts, annuities, insurance, and corporations are just some of the tools we use to mitigate our clients’ risk in the event of a malpractice claim or an unexpected lawsuit that might result in costly personal liability.
Living Wills and Advance Healthcare Directives
Pre-death planning is an important part of estate planning. This is especially true in today’s world, when so many life-prolonging technologies are available to critically injured and otherwise incapacitated patients.
Your estate plan can determine who will make medical, legal, or financial decisions for you when you can’t make them for yourself. It can also instruct doctors about which life-preserving technologies to use, when to use them, and for how long.
Most estate plans should include at least these three documents to protect your interests in the event of incapacity:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Living Will (i.e. advance directive to physicians about your wishes for life support, resuscitation and other heroic measures, and end-of-life care)
If you have minor children, your estate plan should also include details about who will care for the children if both you and the other parent should become incapacitated or die.
Special Needs Planning (including Special Needs Trusts)
If someone in your family has special needs (especially a child or elderly relative), their long-term care should be a paramount consideration for your estate plan.
There are many tools we can use to provide for your loved one’s long-term financial and healthcare needs (e.g. The Miller Trust, the Special Needs Trust). These can empower you to make provisions for their care while still keeping them eligible for key government benefit programs.
Charitable Giving and Estate Plans
Philanthropic giving is both noble and wise. It can make a real difference in the world, while also bringing substantial tax advantages to your estate.
If you’re in Fort Worth and wish to make charitable gifts a part of your estate plan, you can look to Parvin Law for:
- Advice on choosing the right charities
- Reviewing charities for financial soundness
- Researching and identifying compatible non-profit organizations
- Maximizing taxation benefits
If you own a gun, you probably already know that you can’t simply give your gun to someone else without restriction. But did you know that the same gun transfer restrictions apply upon death?
Firearms might be some of the more important assets in your estate, whether for sentimental or financial reasons, or simply because you want to make sure they end up in the right hands.
We generally recommend that Texas gun owners consider an NFA Trust (commonly known as a “gun trust”). This protects their family from the tremendous burden of dealing with the government when handling the distribution of firearms after a death.
FAQs: What Is Included in an Estate Plan?
In the legal sense, the term “estate” generally refers to everything you own:
- your personal property
- any real property (your house and the land it’s on)
- your car(s)
- the money in your bank accounts
- “intangible” things you might own (such as a website or intellectual property)
An estate plan is a guide for your family, doctors, and the courts to use when deciding how to deal with your estate after you die. It also helps guide your legal, medical, and financial affairs while you’re still alive should you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
For parents, estate plans are also important for determining who will care for your children if you pass away before they become adults.
Likewise, an estate plan can govern the care of an elderly parent or family member (or even a pet) who depends on you.
Do I Really Need an Estate Plan? What Happens if I Die Without a Will in Texas?
Most adults need an estate plan, even if it’s a simple one. If you die without a will in Texas, all of your assets will be distributed through probate. This is typically a frustrating, time-consuming, and very public procedure. It is guided by the laws of intestate succession, which spell out who your property goes to in the absence of a will. Of course, this means that your property might not end up where you want it to.
Probate and intestate succession rarely reflect people’s true wishes, which is why estate plans are so common and important.
Can I Handle My Estate Plan on My Own?
The law doesn’t require you to work with an attorney, but drafting an estate plan on your own is usually unwise.
Estate plans are complicated, and so is the law that governs them. Using computer programs or automated online legal services often results in sloppy, imprecise drafting that can cause major headaches for your family down the line — not to mention unintended consequences for your assets and the people you love. There’s simply too much at stake.
You might be surprised by how easy it is to work with an estate lawyer in Fort Worth — the investment is modest, and having an experienced professional on your side can make all the difference.
Choosing a Lawyer for Estate Planning in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and Beyond
With a simple phone call or conversation, you can take proactive measures today that will help you protect your family for many years to come.
Work with a Fort Worth estate planning lawyer who will give your estate the personal, thoughtful attention it deserves. You can count on Chris Parvin and his team to carefully consider all your options and explain them to you in detail.
With clarity and a sense of strategy on your side, you can make good choices and feel confident about your family’s future for the rest of your life.
Contact Parvin Law Group, P.C. to set up a free initial consultation today. Just call (214) 974-8940 or contact us online right away.