Flat Rate Estate Planning Services

Proactively completing a comprehensive estate plan is one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones. You will provide peace of mind knowing that your estate settlement will be greatly simplified and estate administration costs lessened or eliminated depending on the estate planning tool you choose to use – a Will or a Trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:What is the first thing I should do?

    A:Stop procrastinating and schedule a complimentary consultation to talk 1:1 with one of our attorneys.

  • Q:What is a basic will?

    A:A basic will directs for the immediate distribution of assets and contains no specific provisions such as a testamentary trust for minor children, etc.

  • Q:What is a basic trust?

    A:A basic trust directs for the immediate distribution of assets and contains no specific provisions such as divorce proofing via descendant’s trusts, special needs provisions, international asset distribution, etc.

  • Q:What is a comprehensive trust?

    A:A comprehensive trust contains more complex distributions instructions including, but not limited to, such things as divorce protection via descendant’s trusts, trusts for minor beneficiaries, education trusts, age appropriate distributions, generational trusts, annual distributions, charitable bequests and more.

  • Q:What are some benefits of trust planning?

    A:There are too many to list, but here are a few: trusts are portable state-to-state; trusts (when funding correctly) avoid probate; trusts keep your affairs private; trusts are flexible enough to accomplish personal goals like creating an education fund; trusts protect an inheritance from divorce; trusts plan for a loved one with special needs and much, much more!

  • Q:Why do you conduct monthly legal education?

    A:One of the keys to having an up-to-date estate plan is to keep abreast of changes and best-practices in all areas of estate and finance law. While not every month will pertain to your specific situation, you will find the information presented informative and empowering.

  • Q:Texas is a community property state. Why do spouses need to write a will or trust?

    A:Community property is vastly misunderstood in Texas. Community property means that each spouse owns 50% of asset “X” and as such needs to leave instructions on how to dispose of that 50% upon his or her death. Assets do NOT automatically transfer to a surviving spouse.

  • Q:Why is the Comprehensive Trust Portfolio most popular?

    A:The Comprehensive Trust Portfolio allows Crain & Wooley to provide you with the highest level of service without worrying about the billable hour. The first 12 months of having a trust are the most important; it is during these months that you fund your trust. This portfolio gives you access to the firm for 12 months for assistance, questions, advice, changes and more without incurring billable hour charges.

  • Q:What comes in the Annual Report?

    A:Around month 11 of Comprehensive Trust Portfolio service, we conduct a review detailing: implications of law and tax changes, beneficiaries, special beneficiary instructions, assets funded into the trust and power of attorney agents. This report acts as a reminder of how your plan works and what it accomplishes as well as gives you about 1 month to request any changes be completed free of charge.

  • Q:Why should I pay a lawyer to write my will or trust when I can do it myself online for A LOT cheaper?

    A:To be blunt, you get what you pay for. If you look closely legal self-help websites, you will see disclaimer statements like “this is not legal advice” and “services are not protected by attorney-client privilege or as legal work product”. These template services don’t provide you with the opportunity to engage with an attorney for comprehensive planning: current goals, future goals, what-if planning, tax planning and much more. So, the real question is why would you trust a non-legal entity to draw up documents that dispose of all your hard-earned assets?

  • Q:What is a digital document locker?

    A:Secure exchange of information is vital to crafting your perfect estate plan. Crain & Wooley utilizes SmartVault, an SEC and FNRA approved, cloud-based document storage system. When using SmartVault we can securely communicate about your assets, end of life plans and general estate information without worrying about cyber security. SmartVault also allows you to store all your vital information like life insurance contracts, estate planning documents, assets lists and more in a secure manner while being able to access the information from anywhere on the globe.

  • Q:How do I know if I need a will or a trust?

    A:Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys; tell us your goals and concerns and then we will outline which estate planning tool best accomplishes your current and future goals.

  • Q:What is funding a trust?

    A:Funding your trust are the steps taken to make your trust is the owner of titled assets like your house, financial accounts, CDs, etc. Don’t worry – these actions do NOT impact your tax rate or your tax exemptions AND you remain in complete control of all assets. Your daily life does not change.

  • Q:Does a will require probate?

    A:Short answer – yes. There are at least 10 different types of probate. Schedule a time to talk with our attorneys to learn which type of probate fits your situation.

  • Q:What happens when my first 12 months is up?

    A:You have the option of renewing for $595/year to gain an additional 12 months of access to the firm. This access provides you with unlimited firm support for questions, changes and amendments without worrying about the billable hour. You will also receive an annual report for each renewal year.

  • Q:What if I only want a will or a trust and nothing else?

    A:Crain & Wooley does not try to up-sell or talk you into anything. We will lay out the best option for your situation and then complete only the work that you deem necessary.

  • Q:Do you offer payment plan options?

    A:Yes, our firm offers internal financing options.

  • Q:What services do you offer?

    A:Crain & Wooley is a full-service estate planning law firm. We have expertise in standard & taxable trusts, standard & complex wills, probate, adult guardianship, nursing home/Medicaid planning, small business formation, real estate transactions, existing document review/updates and more.

  • Q:I am not rich. Why do I need a will or a trust?

    A:If you have any type of asset (bank account, life insurance, house, condo, anything), you need a will or a trust. Gone are the days in which pay on death or beneficiary designations suffice.