Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

BASICS OF ESTATE PLANNING: Often the hardest part of any planning is just getting started. Having a basic understanding of estate planning allows you to formulate a plan for what you would like to do at death or in case of incapacitation. This section is designed to help you understand the big picture of why estate planning is so important. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: estate planning defined, introduction of estate planning, objectives while living, objectives at death, ten most common mistakes, and senior couples with wheelchair or a walker.

PLANNING FOR INCAPACITATION Unfortunately, unforeseen illnesses and accidents happen in life. Planning ahead for these events is imperative to making sure that you maintain control over personal decisions that will affect you. This section will give you a better understanding of what is needed so that you have peace of mind over these key decisions. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: What is Incapacitation and how it can affect you, key documents needed, and what to do with your incapacitation, documents, and estate.

WILLS No one wants to be a burden to their loved ones at death. By having a will in place, you maintain control over key decisions at death and make it much easier on those you leave behind. This section will help you understand what is required, and how to put one in place. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: What is a Will and do I need one disadvantages of dying without a will, advantages of having a will, and Disadvantages of a will-only estate plan, and when to revisit your will.

PROBATE The probate process can be complex and costly. Many people think you have to probate your estate. In this section, you will learn how to avoid probate and all of the costs associated with it. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: what is probate, advantages of going through probate, costs associated with probate, and avoiding probate estate.

DIRECT TRANSFER There is always an easier way! In this section, you will learn some incredibly easy ways to transfer assets to your loved ones without any hassle. You will also learn how these methods can save you time and money. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: what is direct transfer, gifting while you’re alive, and beneficiary forms: don’t leave home without them! Lastly, you'll learn about account registrations TOD and POD Joint Ownership Community Property in Texas estate law.

TRUST Do you want even more flexibility and control than what a simple will offers? Then a trust may be right for you. In this section, you will learn all of the ins and outs of the different types of trusts and how they can benefit you. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: what is a trust, benefits of trusts, disadvantages of trusts, and types of trusts: Testamentary vs. Living, and Revocable vs. Irrevocable estate.

TAXES It’s been said that the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. Unfortunately, at death you may be exposed to a wide array of taxes. In the last few years, estate tax law has changed drastically. In this section, you will learn all about the different taxes that are owed at death and strategies on how to help avoid them. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: taxes coming and going, income tax, estate tax, gift tax, generation skipping tax, Capital Gains Tax, and Estate Tax.

PLANNING STRATEGIES Once you have learned the basics, it will be time to learn more advanced strategies. In this section, you will learn strategies for how to reduce costs and taxes. We will also discuss Medicaid and what you need to know now to prepare for Long Term Care costs. In addition, you will learn what to do next when a loved one dies. YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT: Bypass Trust, Irrevocable Living Trust, Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Special Needs Trust, Medicaid planning and long-term care, Miller trusts, family limited partnerships, survivor planning, and what to do when a loved one dies.