Due to the current pandemic, we do not have a seminar scheduled.
Please contact our office at 210-566-6700 to be placed on our RSVP list for our next seminar.
Estate Planning Will
Save Hassles Later
Often Gilson Law Firm, PLLC conducts FREE informational seminars to the public to help people clearly understand the process of estate planning and why it is so needed by everyone regardless of age or wealth. In about an hour’s time, seminar attendees will learn 1) what happens when we do not have a power of attorney or will or trust in place, 2) what the most common estate planning tools are, and 3) how to get started.
For most people, just getting started is the biggest hurdle they face in preparing their final affairs. Attending my seminar is a good first step and provides the knowledge one needs to feel empowered about preparing an estate plan.
Some of the most common scenarios that we face are addressed in the seminar and included below for your interest.
Scenario 1: Failure to probate causes title problems
Bob dies with or without a will, but Mary never contacts an attorney to probate his estate. Later, Mary dies, and her children fail to probate her estate. Years later, when the children seek to sell the family home, they realize title to the home is still in Bob and Mary’s names, and the title company will not approve of the sale until they probate their estates. This problem is potentially compounded if generations pass before an estate is settled, creating multiple owners of the homestead, all with different motivations and some who are unwilling to cooperate in clearing title to the home.
RESULT: The sale of the homestead is stalled or permanently put on hold, leading to the abandonment of a family homestead or a very costly and lengthy process to clear title to the property.
Scenario 2: Failure to plan for death
Bob dies without a will. This can present a multitude of undesired results. For example, Mary can probate his estate so that his heirs receive their inheritance, but Bob loses out on his opportunity to avoid an unnecessary probate, leave a bequest to his most cherished church or charity, arrange a special needs trust for his handicapped daughter, or provide primarily for Mary’s care and support versus that of his adult children from a prior marriage.
RESULT: The laws of intestacy, not Bob’s wishes, will govern the distribution of his estate, sometimes frustrating those Bob leaves behind.
Scenario 3: Failure to match one’s beneficiary designations with one’s will or trust
Bob went through the thought and expense of getting a will or a trust, carefully constructing a distribution plan to carry out his wishes and pass on his values. Unfortunately, Bob never checked with his bank accounts, insurances, or investment accounts to make sure his beneficiary designations conformed to the plan in his will or trust. Bob, like many others, forgot to include ALL of his assets in his estate plan.
RESULT: The plan in his will or trust is not carried out as desired because the beneficiary designations bring about a completely different distribution plan.
Scenario 4: Failure to plan for incapacity.
Bob is in a horrible accident and becomes incapacitated. His wife, Mary, can make medical decisions for him, but without a Durable Power of Attorney for financial and legal affairs, cannot act for Bob on changes to bank accounts, insurances, car and house titles, investment accounts, etc. Without the ability to act for Bob with regard to his assets, paying for his medical bills can quickly become difficult, and if his incapacity is permanent, even worse.
RESULT: A costly, time-consuming, and invasive guardianship proceeding or community administration would be necessary.
These and other problems are the very situations Gilson Law Firm, PLLC hopes people will avoid by taking the initiative to create a complete, written estate plan. If one of the stories above could have been about you or someone you know, please allow our attorney to advise you on what your next steps should be.
If you would like to attend the next seminar or have Gilson Law Firm, PLLC present a seminar to your group, please contact our office for more information.