Practice
Area

Media

San Antonio Estate Planning Attorneys

BACKED BY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Whether you already have an estate plan or not, the importance of maintaining an estate plan that reflects your current situation and desires cannot be overstated. If you have not yet found the time to develop an estate plan, failure to do so can have a variety of serious consequences, including unnecessarily burdening your loved ones after your death and incurring excessive costs. If you do have an estate plan and fail to review it upon certain events, the plan may not accomplish the goals that you initially intended. An estate plan often includes, but is not limited to:

  • Last Will and Testament;
  • Medical Power of Attorney;
  • Directive to Physicians;
  • Durable General Power of Attorney; and
  • Trusts.

Estate Plan: Starting with a Will

Oftentimes, when people hear “Estate Plan” they assume it includes just a will. In fact, an estate plan is comprised of much more than just a will (see above). However, drafting a will is oftentimes the best place to start. A properly drafted will sets forth your intentions as to how your property should be distributed after you die, who should be guardian of your minor children, and other significant considerations. One of the main benefits of a will is its ability to reduce potential family conflict after your death and streamline probate (the court process by which property is distributed to heirs upon death).

Intestacy in San Antonio

If you die without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” If you die intestate, San Antonio courts will determine your heirs. Typically, heirs include any children, including those from past relationships. Notably, San Antonio courts do not consider your significant other, friends, or stepchildren as heirs. Your grandchild will not inherit from you unless their parent (your child) dies before you do. In addition to identifying your heirs, the probate court must classify any property you own as either real estate or personal, community or separate. Dying intestate can be a time-consuming and costly process, with fees paid from your estate. While a will is not a method by which to avoid probate entirely, it ensures that your property passes to the individuals you select in a manner that you dictate.

Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives

Powers of Attorney (POA) and Advance Directives give another person the right to act on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated in some way. POAs and Medical Directives can be revoked at any time and expire upon your death.

  • POA: Your POA can be extensive or narrow, depending on what you specifically authorize. Powers may include, but are not limited to, business and financial decisions and purchase/sale of real or personal property.
  • Advance Directives: Advance Directives communicate your wishes about medical care and end-of-life decisions to family and doctors in the event that you become incapacitated.
Revising Estate Plans

Many people with estate plans do not realize that those plans should be revisited upon major life events, including but not limited to:

  • Marriage or remarriage;
  • Birth of a child;
  • A significant increase in net worth, a receipt of retirement benefits, or a sale of significant assets;
  • The death of a beneficiary;
  • A divorce or separation;
  • An interstate move; or
  • A change in goals regarding how the estate is to be distributed.
  • Changes to the Value of Your Estate

When your estate value changes, consider whether you want to modify your distribution instructions accordingly. For example, if you experience a significant increase in net worth, you may want to include beneficiaries in your estate plan who might otherwise not be included. On the flip side, if your estate decreases in value, you may want to update your plan to focus on certain beneficiaries. You should also update your plan if you sell a major asset (i.e., home or business) that was a primary component of your estate, or if you acquire a major asset that is now part of your estate.

  • Divorce Proceedings

Spouses amid divorce proceedings should always plan for the remote possibility of death during the divorce process or shortly after that process has concluded. Most people do not realize that if they die during the divorce process without appropriate plans, their future ex-spouse could inherit everything. It is critical for people who are getting divorced to consider how property will be distributed in this unlikely scenario, as well as consider the equally serious implications of not updating certain estate planning documents.

  • Interstate Moves

Moving to a new state can impact the effectiveness of estate planning documents and lead to unexpected consequences. For example, your new state might have different requirements for a power of attorney that could render your existing power of attorney document unenforceable. There may also be differences in the laws affecting automatic inheritances by a spouse or disinheritances of former spouses. Similarly, there may be different child guardianship standards, estate tax liability, gift tax rules, and more. If you have relocated to Texas, or are planning to do so, it is important to consult with an experienced Texas attorney who can ensure that your estate plan will achieve your goals.

Review Your Estate Plan Often

Major life events are not the only reason that people should review their estate plans. Over time, goals can slowly and subtly shift, and it is critical to schedule periodic reviews with your estate planning attorney to ensure that your plan continues to reflect your desires and affords appropriate protections.

Contact a San Antonio 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 San Antonio attorney at Kirker | Davis LLP to schedule a meeting today.

 

More locations we serve: 

McKinney Estate Planning Attorneys

Lakeway Estate Planning Attorneys

Dallas Estate Planning Attorneys

Plano Estate Planning Attorneys

Round Rock Estate Planning Attorney

Cedar Park Estate Planning Attorney

Get In Touch With Us Today!

Request Consultation

Empowering Clients.

Achieving Results. ®

TESTIMONIALS

  • "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

  • "They were so amazing to work with, 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! They 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. They are the best! ”

    Susan M. - A divorce situation

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

    Erik J - 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. ”

    Bertha S - My divorce case

  • "My experience with Kirker Davis has been amazing. 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 wholeheartedly recommend this firm. ”

    Daniel - Custody case

  • "My ongoing experiences throughout our working together, made me feel like they were genuinely concerned about me and my integrity. Fantastic results! ”

    Edward - 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