Estate Planning in Texas

Protecting your assets while achieving you and your families’ personal financial goals is a big part of estate planning. Estate planning is important for making sure that your assets and property are transferred to the people or parties that you choose with as little tax implication as possible. You may also be concerned about protecting your assets from creditors in the event of your death. Defending your assets from unnecessary taxes, risk and uncertainty is a key part of estate planning.

There are many different ways by which you can protect your money and assets. The following provides some of the more popular wealth protection vehicles and their benefits:

  • Creating a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or limited partnership if your assets are wrapped up in a business venture. By forming these legal entities, your personal assets will be kept separate and apart from your business assets. In the event that your corporation, LLC or limited partnership incurs debts or obligations on which you default, the creditor will not be able to seek compensation for those business debts from your personal assets and will only be able to go after the assets associated with your business.
  • Retirement plans, life insurance policies and annuities are all money saving investments that have special rules relating to when taxes are paid on money deposited as a contribution to these accounts. Many of these investment vehicles are designed to defer taxes paid on contributions made to each type of account; these types of accounts are also outside of the reach of creditors.
  • Homestead exemption laws in Texas can help protect some of your assets in the event that you die with outstanding debts. These laws protect a certain amount of property and the improvements that are upon that land (i.e., buildings and other structures) from forced sale or seizure by creditors. The amount of land depends on whether the homestead is considered urban or rural and whether the homestead holds a family or a single adult.

Taxes on Estates – The Gift Tax in Texas

Whenever assets, such a property or large sums of money, are transferred from one person to another, there are usually tax implications on that transfer. Many families with substantial assets seek out advice and guidance from financial planners, CPAs and tax advisors on how to keep their assets in the family and how to take steps to minimize the tax implications that accompany transferring assets within the family. There are specific federal tax implications for Texas residents when they transfer portions or the entirety of their estate. There are certain ways to transfer assets that will minimize the tax implications, but each situation is unique and an experienced estate planning or tax lawyer should analyze your specific situation to help determine what is the best course of action regarding gifts of property or money.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Planning for the future of your family is always a wise plan. The experienced attorneys at Giles & Giles understand the value or providing for loved ones, even after death, and will help you make informed and well-advised decisions concerning your assets. We will help you develop an estate plan that suits your needs and accomplishes your goals. If you have any questions or would like to contact one of our estate planning lawyers, please reach out to us.