Wills & Trusts Attorney in Dallas
Also Serving Clients in Rockwall and Surrounding Areas
Estate planning is a powerful way to use the time we have today to prepare for what may be in store for us tomorrow. Whether you need to minimize estate taxes, outline the distribution of your assets upon your death, create a long-term plan for the care of your dependents, or complete any other related goal, you may greatly benefit from a will and/or trust.
At The Cramer Law Group, our will and trust lawyer assists individuals and families in Dallas, Rockwall, and surrounding communities. Attorney Michael Cramer works Texas estate planning laws to his clients’ advantage, developing individualized plans to accomplish their short-term and long-term goals. With 26+ years of experience, he has what it takes to secure the best possible legal and financial results for your case.
What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
Estate planning may involve a variety of legal documents and devices, all of which are designed to carry out your wishes regarding your assets, liabilities, loved ones, and more. Wills and trusts are two of the most common ways to convey your wishes and arrange your assets, but there are a few key differences.
A will allows you to:
- Appoint a guardian for minor children
- Appoint a guardian for your minor children’s estate
- Outline your beneficiaries (individuals or entities) and what they will receive upon your death
- Outline prospective beneficiaries if you are to receive assets after your death
- Appoint an executor (the person who oversees probate and related processes, ensuring that your wishes are properly carried out)
If you die without a will, the probate court will divide your property according to Texas descent and distribution laws (i.e. rules of intestate succession). If, instead, you would like to decide for yourself who receives what upon your death, you will most likely need a will.
A trust is another way to transfer your estate. But rather than creating a document that outlines your final wishes, a trust establishes a fiduciary relationship between three parties:
- You (the trustor);
- The trustee; and
- Your beneficiary(ies).
This relationship authorizes the trustee to manage your estate for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Your estate plan may include more than one trust.
There are two general categories of trusts:
- Testamentary trusts. Testamentary trusts do not take effect until your death, and you can establish them with your will. People typically use testamentary trusts to protect their estate from taxes, but they are irrevocable, which means you cannot adjust or revoke them after their creation.
- Revocable living trusts. Revocable living trusts take effect immediately, and you can adjust or revoke them at any time. While they are subject to estate taxes, they may allow your estate to avoid probate.
Everyone’s situation is unique, which is why your estate plan should be fully personalized to meet your needs and accomplish your goals.
What Mr. Cramer Can Do for You
Deciding what type of estate planning devices you need can be a challenge without professional support. At The Cramer Law Group, our attorney can conduct a thorough analysis of your legal and financial circumstances, your assets and liabilities, and your network of beneficiaries to determine whether you need a will, a trust, or both. He can then ensure your documents comply with state laws, clearly convey your wishes, and minimize estate taxes. With a background in business law and real estate, Mr. Cramer has the comprehensive knowledge needed to address all your legal and financial concerns.