Five Questions for your Estate Planning Attorney in Houston, Texas

estate planning law Infograph Before you get in touch with an estate planning attorney in order to get your legal and economic affairs in order, the first thing to do is call the firms of the estate planning attorney in Houston who you will meet to handle your estate plan. This is an excellent chance for a first stage screening. To find the most suitable attorney for you, take note of how the phones are responded to. Will you have the chance to speak with the attorney, or are you handled by some generic telephone service that isn’t in Houston, Texas?

When you do talk with someone on the phone make certain to ask what will occur at the initial assessment. Ideally, the intent of the first conference with your Estate Planning Attorney is not simply just to get to know him or her, however to give you with some assistance and info on the very best estate plans for Houston that will benefit you and your household. You wish to leave this meeting with a clear action plan for what your next steps are, together with the attorney’s instructions for ensuring that your affairs will be set up in the very best method possible for you and your household.

Second, you wish to find out particular information,

such as, how often must you review your legal documents, and what happens if you wish to make changes later. Far too often, households put in place legal documents and they think fantastic that’s done now. (” I do not have to think of that anymore”). Then, the end of their life comes, or a crisis turns up, and their household finds out that the legal documents are out of date, and particular updates would have significantly helped the family handle the present instance.

The estate plan that is out of date or doesn’t perform effectively for developments which may well have been just recently altered in Houston. Why does this occur? Due to the fact that some lawyers are not setting the right expectations for their clients. The truth of the matter is legal documents are not “set it and forget it.” Your wills, estate planning legal documents, and trust business legal documents demand to be examined regularly, and up-dated throughout your life. You wish to find a estate planning attorney who can supply you direction for examining your legal documents routinely, and who offers a program to offer you with continuing guidelines on a continuing basis.

The third thing to understand before employing a estate planning attorney is can they help you to make wise choices…

about things like buying insurance coverage, monetary and retirement preparation and helping you get your monetary home in order? Your personal attorney can and should have the ability to direct you in making the clever decisions, not just about things like legal documents; but, also about basic assistance on monetary matters, taxes and getting your financial resources organized according to federal and Texas standards.

This doesn’t mean that your attorney needs to be certified to sell insurance coverage or monetary items or practice every type of law, simply that they have a breadth of experience and understanding, so that they can be a relied on consultant to you on these concerns, helping you prevent expensive mistakes.

Fourth, what sorts of things can you put in place to guarantee that your children will forever be looked after…

by individuals you would like as their caretakers, in the way you want, and will not lose their inheritance to predators or lenders?

Today, there are strategies in legal preparation that allow you to have the best assurance that your children will not ever be left in the care of any individual you wouldn’t desire, even in the short-term, while the authorities are determining what to do. Make certain that your attorney provides a complete kid’s protection plan for the care of minor children, including ID cards for your wallet and instructions for your caregivers, listing out the names and numbers of local individuals who have legal authority to look after your kids, if you are unable to.

Fifth, what set of legal estate planning legal documents best fit your current household circumstances?

Some households have more complex preparation concerns to deal with than others. Numerous types of concerns should be asked to help ascertain what planning legal documents best fit your requirements:

Will you need a trust established in the course of your life, or is that much better dealt with in you will?

Do you have any special needs member of the family that need to be provided for?

How steady are the marriages of your married children?

Are you expecting to include members to your household through birth or adoption?

Are you expecting any big expenses or inheritances?

Questions For Your Estate Planning Attorney.

If you are preparing to meet an estate planning attorney in Houston, there are a couple of concerns you might ask to identify if that prospective estate planning attorney is right for you.

Are you experienced in dealing with estate planning matters?

Proceed with an estate planning attorney solely if he/she answers “yes” to this concern. An estate planning attorney will be familiar with current law and will have the required tactical knowledge to carefully prepare your legal documents in the most effective manner possible.

The length of time have you been practicing?

Obviously, you should make every effort to discover the most dependable attorney possible, one who has seen his prepared legal documents work after a customer’s death. There is no replacement for experience. It’s also important that you feel comfy consulting with this attorney. After all, you will be going over some of your most private and personal concerns.

Do you really carry out the strategy?

Some lawyers merely draw up estate planning legal documents, while others also carry out the associated trusts and property transfers. It’s normally more effective to maintain an attorney in the latter classification, who can be certain that the correct assets are transferred into the trust.

Can you help me produce a comprehensive estate plan that includes wills, trusts, survivorship agreements and transfer on death legal documents?

You might have an option of multiple types of wills, trusts, survivorship agreements and types of transfer on death legal documents, and detailed estate plans can include all of these. So it’s important that your estate planning attorney is experienced in these sections. You might want your estate planning attorney to help you comprehend the advantages and disadvantages of each estate preparation tool and recommend the ones that might be right for you.

How do you charge?

Lots of estate planning attorney charge flat costs for certain basic services, like preparing a will or a trust, instead of billing by the hour. Some do both, where they charge a fixed fee for certain basic services, then charge a per hour rate for certain services that are special to your situation. In any case, it’s makes good sense to inquire about settlement approaches ahead of time to prevent surprises.

How do you feel about revocable living trusts?

Putting properties into a revocable living trust can prevent the time consuming and costly probate process. But this might not be the very best move for everybody, particularly in Houston Texas, because here the probate process is fairly basic. Regrettably, some lawyers suggest revocable living trusts simply so they can charge more. There might be other, easier and more cost effective approaches to meet your objectives.

What other concerns do you attend to?

As life expectancy boosts, so do the likelihoods of physical and mental special needs concerns. Estate planning attorneys should help clients get ready for the possibility of short-term or long-term special needs or dementia by drafting medical and durable powers of attorney, living wills, and declaration of guardianship legal documents.


This is simply a sample of the types of concerns that should help guide the decision on what legal documents best fit your requirements. Asking these concerns and hearing the right answers before you engage an attorney to deal with your wills, trusts, estate planning or business in Houston, Texas will ensure that you put in place legal planning for your whole family and your company that will work when you require it.

Nick C. Caridas

Estate Planning Attorney 

Serving -city-, Texas


We serve Houston and the surrounding areas, including:

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