Wills And Trusts In Oklahoma And Texas Require Significant Planning
The use of wills and trusts is fundamental to comprehensive estate planning. These legal instruments are powerful tools that allow you to pass on assets to your loved ones, charitable organizations, and other beneficiaries. With skilled legal guidance, you can leverage these options to round out your estate plan and enjoy peace of mind knowing that those you love will be financially secure after you are gone.
At the law offices of David W. Smith II PLLC, David will help you understand your options for a last will and testament and both revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts, including how these documents can benefit your specific situation. Throughout the estate planning process, he will be available with answers and information that will provide you with the control you need in completing this important legal process.
What Can You Do with a Will?
A will is an important document that serves many purposes.
In a last will and testament, you can do the following:
- Name an executor to oversee the administration of your will
- Name your heirs and beneficiaries and determine who will get what assets or property and when they will get them
- Name a guardian for your minor children should both parents pass away
- Name a caretaker for your pet and provide the person with funds for that purpose
- Name a digital executor to manage your digital assets, such as your Facebook account, email, and digital files
- Support your favorite causes or charities as beneficiaries
- Provide instructions for your funeral/burial
Leaving behind these instructions can give your family clarity and reduce the potential for disputes. Without a will, you will die “intestate” leaving it up to a probate judge to distribute your property and assets without any understanding of what you would have wanted.
How Do Trusts Work?
A trust is a separate legal entity into which you place assets or property to be managed by a trustee for the benefit of your heirs and beneficiaries. The trustee is given the right to hold title to these assets after you place them into the trust. In a living revocable trust, you can be the trustee of your assets and manage them as you see fit during your lifetime. Upon your passing, your named secondary trustee will then transfer the assets to your heirs and beneficiaries according to the trust instructions.
Many types of trusts can be created for different purposes, including revocable and irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, charitable trusts, and more.
Reasons to Create a Trust
Asset protection and avoiding taxes — Trusts can be used to structure your assets to protect them as much as possible from costly estate taxes.
Special needs — If you are a primary caregiver of a special needs individual or simply wish to financially provide for a special needs person, trusts allow you to dictate exactly how much will be left and how it will be dispensed for the individual’s care.
Protecting minors — If you have underage children, a trust can provide peace of mind that the minor will be financially provided for should something happen to you and your spouse. A trust will allow you to name an executor who will oversee the distribution of the money on the terms that you have laid out.
Avoiding probate — Trusts are used by many people to structure their estate in a manner that will save loved ones the strain and cost of going through probate.
Prepared To Help You Protect Your Future And Your Family
For more information about integrating wills, trusts, or other documents, such as Powers of Attorney and living wills/advance directives into your estate plan, call attorney David Smith at 469-460-8980 or send a message online using the form on this website. Initial 30-minute phone consultations are free. Meet by phone or by videoconference. Evening appointments are available by request.