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Estate Planning/Probate – FAQ

I need peace of mind that my family will have financial security in case of incapacitation and death of our senior loved ones, as well as health problems of my own, down the road. What would you suggest?

Estate planning provides the best legal and financial preparation that you and relatives can depend on for the future. An experienced estate and probate attorney can explain the many benefits of having a customized plan that addresses your specific issues. The right combination of useful estate tools is a will, trust, power of attorney and advance health care directive. When you sign off on such a document, you'll spare your family members all kinds of inconvenience, including the often time-consuming, expensive probate process.

I had heard that estate planning was strictly for retirees, though.

Not true. A forward-looking estate plan that anticipates any difficulty can work to the advantage of anyone of any age, marital status or size of estate. Even young families with small children are prime candidates for new and refreshed estate plans. A knowledgeable estate lawyer will listen to your goals and translate them into binding documentation that can withstand any challenge.

Speaking of challenges, a disgruntled former beneficiary is threatening to contest the will of a recently deceased relative. Do you get involved in these kinds of family squabbles?

At Law Thompson, P.C., we welcome the opportunity to negotiate or, if necessary, litigate a fair outcome to the kind of contentious will contest that divides families. During a smooth estate administration, we can skillfully coordinate efforts with executors, trustees and beneficiaries for the result that a decedent had in mind. When disagreements arise, however — challenges to a will's validity, allegations of incompetency and undue influence, last-minute changes to a will by a suspect former caregiver, for examples — we can step in to take immediate charge of your case. We research, advise and advocate with equal proficiency.

How time-consuming and costly are probate, anyway?

Various factors go into determining the likely expensive, simplicity, or complexity of a probate proceeding. Such factors include whether or not the deceased left a valid written Will; the deceased's marital status at the time of death; the number of heirs and whether or not any of these heirs are minor children; the nature and extent of the deceased's property and debts.

Texas law furnishes several probate options, the recommended selection of which will need to be based on a consideration of these various factors. Fortunately, the probate procedures for many simple and uncontested estates can quite often be handled very quickly and affordably.

Of course, estates having complex property issues or estates with various heirs challenging one another for the management or share of an estate can necessarily lead to complication and considerable expense. Our firm can assess and analyze an estate and recommend the most suitable probate option given the existing circumstances.

That's an optimistic outlook, even with a lawyer participating?

It's a realistic outlook. Your first step to making sense of what's about to happen is to contact Law Thompson, P.C., in Houston, Texas, and arrange an initial consultation. Our law firm's founder Travis Thompson is more than glad to answer any question or address any concern you might have. We represent clients in Harris County, Montgomery County and Fort Bend County.

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Law Thompson, P.C.
14405 Walters Road, Suite 960
Houston, TX 77014

Phone: 281-301-1293
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