Hoping for the Best Isn’t a Plan. Richard Hughes Can Help.

Planning for the end of life can be stressful and even frightening. We understand that.

If you’re looking for an experienced estate attorney in Tyler, Texas to walk you through every step of the process, Richard Hughes can help.

He personally handles every case, and he’s committed to providing his clients with comprehensive estate planning services.

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The Estate Planning Process

Quantifying Assets

The first step in the estate planning process is to quantify your assets.

Richard H Hughes will help you determine what assets you have and who you would like to leave them to.

Assets are often physical items like real estate, automobiles, or precious metals, but they also include non-tangible items like bank accounts and insurance policies.

Developing a Will

Your last will and testament,, outlines your wishes for distributing your assets after your passing.

Wills are fairly straightforward, though having an estate planning attorney look over your will reduces the likelihood of legal complications for your beneficiaries.

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All assets that are given out are done so through probate. When you have a will in place, the process of probate is straightforward and the executor of the will can handle most of it seamlessly. With a will, though, probate is usually necessary.

You can avoid probate with a will if your estate is valued at less than $75,000. Also, things like medical savings accounts, IRAs, and life insurance proceeds can all bypass probate if they have designated beneficiaries.

Other than that, though, you’ll be almost guaranteed to need probate. This is where Richard Hughes can help.

Forming a Trust

While you don’t need both a trust and a will, having both reduces the likelihood of any legal gaps for your beneficiaries.

Bridging that gap can prevent difficult legal disputes among family members by removing any potential complications when enacting your will.

A trust is useful if you have a larger amount of assets, whether those be in real estate, precious metals, bank accounts, or any other sizeable asset. In Texas, trusts are not subject to income tax. This offers a potentially significant savings - well above savings when you have solely a will.

Since trusts are more complex than wills, having an estate planning attorney help you navigate the process is crucial.

Life Insurance Policies

How up to date are you on your life insurance policy? Do you know the exact details of your coverage?

Life insurance will cover a portion, if not all, of the expenses that your beneficiaries may incur upon your death.

These expenses often include estate taxes and other debts that your beneficiaries may be liable for.

Richard Hughes can help you find the right policy to meet your estate planning needs.

Health Savings Accounts

Health Savings Accounts, or HSA’s, are an underappreciated vehicle for lessening your tax burden. Functionally, they’re savings accounts that can only be withdrawn from for medical expenses. However, all HSA contributions are pre-tax.

Not only are HSA’s a useful savings tool now, but you’ll also be able to bequeath any remaining funds to your beneficiaries.

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What’s the Difference Between a Will & a Trust?

Trusts and wills are often referenced in the same breath, but they aren’t synonymous.

You may want to use both a will and a trust, but most people certainly benefit from having at least one of the two.

The main difference between the two is that trusts are handled before the death of the grantor and wills are disbursed after death.

What’s Unique About a Will?

  • A will is a simpler alternative to a trust for most people, excepting those with large assets
  • A will transfers assets upon the death
  • A will has a lower cost to start and maintain than a trust

What’s Unique About a Trust?

  • A trust is best for those with large assets or anyone who wants to be especially sure that their will has no legal gaps
  • Assets in a trust are handled before the grantor’s death by being deposited into the trust ahead of time
  • Each trust is maintained by a third-party and can be distributed to beneficiaries at any time

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Richard Hughes Handles all Aspects of Estate Planning

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Power of Attorney

When giving power of attorney, you’re choosing someone you trust to act in your place if you are no longer in a position to make important decisions on your own.

This can happen simply because of age or if you suffer a personal injury. You can give limited or complete power of attorney to one or more people as your situation dictates.

Richard Hughes can help you determine what’s best for your unique needs.

Directive to Physician

Sometimes called healthcare directives, a directive to physician allows an individual to make important healthcare decisions while they are healthy.

These directives apply to situations where they’re incapacitated or otherwise incapable of making important medical decisions in the moment.

HIPAA Authorizations

You have the option to give a family member or other loved one the authority to access your medical records and share them with relevant medical professionals.

HIPAA rights can be confusing, especially as it comes to end-of-life care, so it’s crucial to take the time to understand them beforehand.

And More

You’ll never be able to plan for absolutely everything.

However, Richard H. Hughes is committed to getting you as close as we possibly can. Give us a call today and let’s see what you need.

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Contact the Law Offices of Richard Hughes to Schedule an Estate Planning Consultation Today

It’s never too early to think about estate planning. The sooner you get started, the easier the process will be and the greater comfort you can ensure for your beneficiaries.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards peace of mind, call the estate attorney in Tyler, TX that you can trust, Richard Hughes.