Wills and Trust Lawyer Katy TX
Katy Wills and Trust Lawyer
Why do you need a Wills and Trust Lawyer Katy, well in the words of Ben Franklin: “There are only two certainties in life – death and taxes.”
At Rath Law Office in Katy Texas, we engage in a proactive, risk mitigation strategy to help clients create an estate plan which plans for an unexpected death, but which protects those loved ones left behind using a properly executed will or trust.
You Need An Attorney You Can Trust
Rath Law Office fulfills this mission by providing the highest quality legal services at a competitive price in the privacy of your home or office. At Rath Law Office, we believe 3 skills are indispensable to achieving our mission:
Listening to your needs
Rath Law Office is unique because we do not take a “one size fits all” approach to our clients’ estate planning needs. Your attorney will start each engagement by listening to you – the client. By listening first instead of talking, and by asking questions in response to information shared by the client, we help the client crystalize and focus on the best estate planning solution for their particular situation.
Why is this important?
Because not every client in Katy needs a trust or will. There may be several options available to the client which will accomplish the client’s goals, but which will cost the client less now (or the client’s beneficiaries less in the future)
Education In Law
Rath Law Office lawyers in Katy sincerely believes that continual learning on our part is vital to the delivery of quality legal services to our clients. We do not just focus on changes in the law, but we also monitor trends in the law which are of interest to our clients and seek opportunities to educate our clients about how those trends affect them through our Facebook page, email newsletters, and speaking opportunities.
Finding Legal Answers Paid and Free
We also seek to educate our clients about the non-legal resources we can make available to them. Rath Law Office, through its membership in multiple professional organizations, maintains a list of diverse service professionals that we know have integrity and provide superior customer service.
Included on our list are trades people, accounting professionals, legal professionals with a focus on other areas of the law, technology professionals and retirement planning professionals. Our clients can be assured that whatever the need, the work will be done in a timely and professional manner at a competitive cost.
Professional Legal and Business Council
Our professional memberships also allow us to locate trusted resources for our clients in a new locale if the client is moving to a new city as part of a career change. Rath Law Office can help clients locate new service providers, including legal, medical, real estate, etc., thereby reducing the stress of any new adventure life may take you on.
If you are new to the Katy area, we can help you find the professionals you to make your transition less stressful. We encourage you to call us for an appointment so we can provide you with a list of reliable, honest service providers – at no cost! It is our way of welcoming you to the community!
Legal Advice Consistency
Rath Law Office is experienced in Katy Will and Katy Trusts – we strive for consistency in the quality of the services we provide to our clients. We continually push to exceed client expectations on every level, by delivering error-free finished work well within client deadlines, and by providing timely responses to client telephone calls and emails. In short, we strive to provide a “big firm” experience with a personalized, neighborhood business feel.
Family is Important
At Rath Law Office, Cathy Rath is sincere in her desire to know you and your family on a personal level, not just as your legal council and attorney. However, we cannot take the time to do so if our clients are concerned about cost. We eliminate that concern by charging a fixed fee for most of our services.
This encourages clients to call or email us with questions about their projects without fear of the final cost. By encouraging our clients to communicate with us, we ensure that we fully understand the clients’ needs, thereby providing the solution which is right for each client.
Please call us at 281-772-9585 if we can provide you with advice or counseling on any issue, and especially if you have a need in or question about any of the following areas:
- Trusts – special needs, revocable or pet
- Powers of Attorney – medical or financial
- Advance Directives or Living Trust
- HIPAA Authorizations
- Guardian Designation for Minors
Your Will is a Very Important Document
What is a will? A will is the legal document by which an individual (called the “testator”) specifies the individual(s) or charity(ies) (also called beneficiaries) who inherit the testator’s real and personal property when the testator dies. If the testator dies intestate (that is, without a will), then the State of Texas decides who the testator’s beneficiaries are for inheritance purposes. If you are single, unmarried and without significant assets, you may not be concerned. If you are in your first marriage, you may not be concerned either because Texas law directs that your spouse and children (if any) will inherit from you.
Katy Wills for Your Spouse and Children
What if you are in a second marriage? have children from your first marriage? and also have children from your second marriage? Do you want to treat all of the children the same? Are there certain family “heirlooms” the children from your first marriage should inherit? How will you ensure that your wishes in this regard are honored?
Preparing a will for Katy Texas residents is the simplest form of estate planning which ensures that your wishes are carried out after you die. You must have a lawyer experienced in Katy Will and Katy Trust law.
Probating your Will
Many clients believe that probating a will (that is, going to court) is expensive, and therefore, reduces the amount of money inherited by beneficiaries. Estate planning and probate attorneys sometimes fail to explain that the cost of probating a will is directly related to the amount of court supervision specified in your will.
Texas provides for “independent” and “dependent” administration. As the types of administration suggest, the more you “depend” on the court to supervise the liquidation and distribution of the estate, the more costly and time-consuming the process.
Moreover, whether a client distributes assets via a will or through a “pour-over” will (meaning any personal assets are left to a trust), the will must still be presented to the court so that letters testamentary may be issued to the executor. Letters testamentary give the executor of your will the power to transfer ownership of assets not in your trust, such as automobiles, to your beneficiaries.
Rath Law Office can help clients protect assets for the benefit of heirs through the preparation of a trust. There are several different types of trusts. We describe a special needs, revocable and pet trust below.
Special Needs Trusts
What is a special needs trust? A special needs trust, also called a supplemental needs trust, allows a parent, grandparent, sibling, or third-party to give assets to a physically or mentally challenged loved one without jeopardizing the loved one’s entitlement to public benefits.
Many public benefits, such as Medicaid, are needs-based. This means that if a special needs applicant has too much money or too many assets, that special needs applicant is ineligible for benefits. By placing the money a loved one would otherwise inherit through a will to a special needs trust, the loved one can qualify for, or continue to receive, public benefits.
At the same time, the trustee of a special needs trust has discretion to disburse trust assets to pay for “supplemental” expenses needed by the beneficiary which are not covered by public assistance programs.
Expenditures made from trust assets can include education courses, skills training, assistive technology, and housing. Any funds remaining in the special needs trust at the time of the beneficiary’s death can be distributed to secondary beneficiaries.
Once a special needs trust is created, it can be funded with a minimal amount. Over time, additional assets can be added in the form of cash, stocks, bonds, inherited assets, or a home. A special needs trust is one option for parents who worry about what the financial security of their special needs child after they have passed.
What is a revocable trust? A revocable trust is often promoted as a less expensive alternative to a will. As noted above, this really should not be of concern to clients residing in Texas because Texas law provides for “independent” administration.
However, if you are the owner of a closely held business, a revocable trust may provide you with additional protection from the claims of business creditors.
A revocable trust can also provide parents with power “from the grave” in any number of ways. Are you concerned about the money-management skills of a child? A revocable trust may be an option for providing financial assistance, over time, to that child after you have passed.
Through a revocable trust, parents can provide for their minor children if the parents should pre-decease them. How? The parents can specify the individual(s) to be the trustee(s) of the trust, how successor trustees are chosen, the degree of trustee discretion with regard to disbursements from the trust, the purposes for which disbursements can be made, etc.
Thus, the parents control the disposition of trust assets to their children and grandchildren long after their deaths.
Rath Law Office also offers the preparation of pet trusts for those individuals who do not have a relative or friend to rely upon to take care of a pet upon their death. A pet trust is similar to a revocable or special needs trust in that it is a way to provide funds for the continued care of a loved one after you have died.
As with revocable and special needs trusts, you decide who will be the guardian of your pet(s) after you die, specify the level of care the pet will receive, and specify the individual who will be the trustee of the trust. And as with the special needs and revocable trusts, you decide who will receive any amount left in the trust after your pet(s) die(s).
Rath Law is experienced in Katy Will and Katy Trust Law. We have been proudly serving our community and would love the opportunity to become your legal council and Katy attorney.