When you meet with me to start discussing your custom estate plan, the first thing I’ll probably say is “What are your goals? What are your concerns? What is it that you’d like to get taken care of?” Sometimes clients say something like “We just want everything to be sold and split equally to our kids. Our daughter can take care of everything. We want it to be easy.” Sometimes clients say something like “I want to make sure my nephew is taken care of, but he’s had some issues with substance use disorder. I know I can’t just give him a bunch of money, so I need to know what I can do to help him without enabling him.”
We don’t just create valid legal documents, we create valid legal documents that are customized to you and your situation. A Texas law license says “ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW.” We will counsel you through how the law can work in coordination with your intended plans.
I often find myself counseling clients on the sliding scale between security and convenience. For any plan, you should pick someone that you truly trust as your trustee, executor, and agent. Once you’ve decided who that person would be, we can help you decide where your plan should be on the scale between security and convenience.
For example, if you want things to be easy for your daughter to distribute your estate equally to herself and her siblings, we can write a plan where your daughter will be instructed to liquidate everything that you have and just split the cash. However, you can give them the flexibility to decide amongst themselves that, say, your son keeps your house and your other kids split the cash. If you can trust them to work it out themselves, we can give them the power to do so. This kind of plan is on the far end of the scale towards convenience.
However, if your wish is to take care of your nephew that has struggled with substance use disorder, we might have to move that scale to the far end of security. You might need a corporate fiduciary (a bank or law firm that’s in charge of assets) that can handle making decisions about substance testing, care in a facility, other medical help, assistance with living and transportation needs, and other financial help besides handing him a big bag of cash. While this kind of plan might be less convenient to administer, it might be necessary.
When you come in to work with an attorney and counselor at law, we can help you decide where you and your loved ones need for your plan to be on the scale of security versus convenience.
Need to decide on how to distribute your assets after your passing? We are here to help! Visit us here to find out how we can address your estate planning needs.