Embrace The Joy Of Estate Planning
At the Law Office of Lisabeth Mims in Dallas, we work with clients personally to develop estate plans that reflect their deepest wishes. This can be an exciting process — learning asset preservation strategies to plan for retirement, discovering how you can help out a loved one or a favorite charity, gaining peace of mind knowing your plans are in place. The decisions are yours to make. We are here to provide you with the guidance and insight you need to make the right decisions for you and your family.
Estate planning means protecting one’s assets for future generations. Most families want to protect and guide their accumulated assets to the intended persons in their estate plan. If you don’t have some type of plan in place that meets all the legal requirements in Texas, your belongings will pass through intestate succession. This means the State of Texas has an estate plan for you in case you don’t have an estate plan for yourself. If this happens your assets may send your hard-earned assets to persons that you did not intend, especially if you have a family member with special needs who also needs state and/or federal benefits.
Effective estate planning will prevent this from happening. An effective estate plan will contain, at a minimum, a will, a selection of trusts, and powers of attorney. In the event of a death, the transfer of wealth to the intended persons will be far simpler with a properly drafted estate plan than by intestate succession. Estate planning could also include providing for elderly parents or children of a previous marriage.
A properly prepared estate plan includes preparing proper beneficiary designations for your non-probate assets. Frequently, the non-probate estate exceeds the probate estate in value. It requires strategic efforts incorporating both estates to complete an effective estate plan.
Legal Experience In The Special Needs Community
From 1981 To The Present
Christopher W. Mims practiced law in the area of estate planning, wills, trusts, and guardianship commencing in 1981 through 2015. He had a great impact in the judicial system, the community, and in thousands of families’ lives in this area. His, sister, Lisabeth Ann Mims, has carried on his legacy work and continues to protect and serve families with the need to protect a family member with special needs.
We offer estate planning services by appointment, one on one, and in a group setting in our Special Needs Will Clinic to provide you with the wills, trusts, and powers of attorney that best suit your family’s needs.
- Will – Specialized Will with specific language for special needs law.
- Trust – A Special Needs Trust or Supplementary Needs Trust allows you to provide financial assistance to a person with special needs without harming eligibility for SSI, Medicaid, or other public benefit programs.
- Powers of attorney – A set of four (4) documents, includes a Medical and a Financial Power of Attorney, a HIPAA Authorization, and a Directive to Physician’s (Living Will).
Thinking about writing a will may be difficult, but it is critical in planning for the future of your family member with special needs. The peace of mind it brings that you have prepared and protected your family’s future far outweighs the uncomfortable feelings the subject may bring about.
Pitfalls of not having a will. When you choose not to have a will, your assets may then be handed directly to your family member with special needs, as under intestate succession, and this inheritance may make the individual ineligible for public benefit programs.
Writing a proper will for the Special Needs family is not difficult, but it is complex. An improperly drafted will may cause the person that you are trying to protect to become ineligible for SSI, Medicaid, or other public benefit programs. Additionally, signing a will is subject to certain formalities that, if not precisely followed, could make the will invalid. It is very important that the person drafting your will is well acquainted and comfortable with the unique needs of your unique family.
Get Started Today
You don’t have to face the estate planning process alone. To arrange your confidential legal consultation with an experienced Dallas estate planning lawyer, please call our law offices at 214-855-5160 or contact us online.