Georgetown Estate Planning


It is never a bad time to begin planning for the future. Many of us already take steps to prepare for what the future holds. Tracking investment accounts, purchasing life insurance policies, and automatic deposits into savings accounts all play a part in helping us create a secure tomorrow. But even the most forward-thinking among us can easily forget one of the most important aspects of preparing for the future: the estate plan.

Most Georgetown residents simply are not aware of the time and expense that can befall those who find themselves tasked with administering an estate. With probate cases in Georgetown averaging over one year to complete, the need for pre-planning becomes clear. Even small estate planning steps can alleviate much of the time and expense that so commonly plague disorganized estates. Of course, some people prefer to avoid the topic of estate planning and succession. This is understandable. Few enjoy thinking about what the world will be like after they are gone. However, sometimes it is necessary to confront these uncomfortable topics to ensure the interests of loved ones are protected.

We have provided a very brief overview of some key estate planning terms and concepts. Familiarizing oneself with those concepts is a great first step toward a more secure, better prepared future.

Estate Planning in Georgetown: The Basics

At its core, estate planning is the process by which one prepares his or her property for disposition in case of his or her death or incapacitation. An “estate” is the entirety of one’s assets and liabilities. Assuming no estate plan exists, all of your property will become the property of your estate upon your death. Similarly, any outstanding debts will become the debts of your estate. Estates can be vast, and can include a seemingly limitless variety of debts and assets, such as securities, intellectual property, insurance policies, promissory notes, and mortgages.

An estate plan allows you to decide how to divide your property. For example, many people choose to divide their property equally between their children. Another common choice is a favored charitable organization or educational institution. But estate planning is not only limited to who or how your property will be passed. You can also decide when your property will pass. Your instructions on the disposition of your property is called your “estate plan,” and it usually consists of a will, but can also contain other documents and strategies such a Power of Attorney or a trust.

Rather than being set in stone, forever unchangeable, estate plans can be amended to incorporate evolving goals or objectives. New circumstances, such as the birth of a child or a recent inheritance may give rise to issues that did not need to be addressed in a previous estate plan. Estate planners understand that things change and can work to ensure that any new goals are accurately reflected in an updated estate plan.

The Power of Attorney and Living Trusts

One of the most important tools in any estate plan is the Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that allows a person of your choosing to make decisions for you in the event that you become unable to make such decisions yourself. Due to medical advances over the last several decades, such as ventilators and other life support systems, the probability of becoming incapacitated before passing away has increased substantially. But this also means that some of us may, at some point, be alive but unable to make important decisions. A Power of Attorney lets you select a trusted confidante to make decisions in accord with your wishes if you become unable to make those decisions yourself.

The Living Trust and the Medical Power of Attorney are two documents that are routinely paired with a general Power of Attorney. These instruments operate in a similar way to a general Power of Attorney, but focus on medical decisions. With these two instruments, an individual can outline his or wishes for end-of-life care, permissions for the disclosure of medical information and other instructions.


In its most basic form, a will is a document that provides instructions on how to distribute one’s property in the event of his or her death. The will’s author, or testator, gives the instructions to the estate administrator, or executor, to distribute the assets of the testator according to his or her wishes.  The administration of a will occurs through a special court called “probate.” Dying without having dictated a will is called dying intestate. If an individual dies intestate, then the probate court will administer the deceased’s estate according to the state’s default rules, without regard to the (undeclared) preferences of the deceased. In order to avoid the state’s default rules from preempting one’s preferences, it’s imperative to have a will prepared before death.


A trust can be another useful aspect of an estate plan. A trust is not a company, but rather, it is a fiduciary relationship between no less than three legal entities. A trust is created by a grantor, who directs the trust’s manager, or trustee, to manage the trust’s assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Unlike with a will, by which the testator retains legal title to all his or her property until death, the grantor of a trust must transfer legal title of all property that is deposited to the trust. In this way, the trust itself retains legal title to all of its assets. Trusts have become increasingly popular over the last few decades. This popularity is due to increased privacy, efficiency, and tax benefits. For most, however, a trust will only form one part of a comprehensive estate plan.

If you would like to explore the benefits of advanced estate planning, please consult our brief eBook here.

Contact a Georgetown Estate Planning Attorney for Help Today

If you are concerned that your estate plan no longer reflects the value of your property or your current goals, or if you have yet to create an estate plan, contact a Georgetown attorney at Kirker | Davis LLP to schedule a meeting with an attorney today.

Request Consultation

    Empowering Clients.

    Achieving Results. ®


    • "The divorce process is not an easy one, but I always felt fully supported, informed, and guided by Chris and the staff. Chris always laid out the options, made me aware of the risks, and provided me with recommendations, but he also gave me the flexibility to work out things with my ex where I could, to speed up the process and avoid some legal expenses. I highly recommend Chris for family law representation. ”

      David - Divorce Representation

    • "I’m a lawyer myself and Holly helped me with my recent divorce. She did an amazing job. She covered all the little issues that would have collectively cost me a bunch of money in the long run if she had not been so detail-oriented and focused. She is a tenacious advocate for her clients who aims to resolve matters amicably but will fight tooth-and-nail for her clients if that is what it takes to reach a...”

      Anonymous - Holly is the lawyer who lawyers hire for their own divorces

    • "Chris handled my case professionally, efficiently, and demonstrated a very strong knowledge of family law. Chris took the time to learn and understand all aspects of my situation and used that knowledge to develop a focused strategy that led to a successful outcome. I highly recommend Chris. ”

      Martin - Excellent Lawyer

    • "Ashley Morgan and her paralegal Aleks were both so amazing to work with. They were second to none in responsiveness and work ethic. I would recommend her work to anyone looking for family law, and could not be happier with my decision to work with them. Just a great group of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the work they do. ”

      Josh Campbell - Family Law

    • "This was as good an experience as you can possibly have with a divorce situation! Candice and Laurie were professional yet compassionate. They treated me with great respect and were always available to answer my questions. The best part is they always had my best interest at heart. I would highly recommend Kirker Davis and Candice Derelye and Laurie Theriot. They are the best! ”

      Susan Morris - A divorce situation

    • "This was my first time ever working with lawyers and words cannot express how grateful I am for Ashley Morgan and her team. I needed direction during a difficult time and she provided step by step service. Would highly recommend! ”

      Erik Jurado - Highly recommended

    • "I praise Attorney Alyse Donnelly for all the hard work and hours she put in my divorce case. I believe that her experience, knowledge, and quick thinking resulted in beneficial results on my behalf. Ms. Donnelly along with Paralegal Stacy O’Brien and Attorney Michelle Fontenot are definitely assets to the Kirker Davis law firm. ”

      Bertha Solis - My divorce case

    • "My experience with Kirker Davis has been amazing. Candice Deyerle has been my attorney and in just under a month she helped to correct severe deficiencies in my custody case. She and her team respond within minutes or hours to even the most mundane requests. From the moment I walked in the office, I was greeted with an exceptional level of service, and even the receptionist inspires class and confidence. I wh...”

      Daniel Kearns - Custody case

    • "From my first visit, I felt like Candice listened to every word I said and showed concern about my pending situation. My ongoing experiences throughout our working together, made me feel like they were genuinely concerned about me and my integrity. If I wandered off course, Candice would guide me back online! Fantastic results! ”

      Edward Novess - Fantastic results

    Austin Family Attorneys

    Is Divorce Imminent

    Download “The 4 Steps In Every Divorce” eBook so you can be better prepared

    Download Now

    Austin Family Attorneys

    Request Consultation

    A strategic step towards resolution

    Submit a Request
    • Austin Office