The process of protecting your assets through estate planning is a challenging one and often requires sound legal counsel, not only in the drafting of the documents but in working to make sure all possible scenarios have been thought through. Who will speak for you if you become mentally or physically incapacitated? How can you ensure your wishes are followed on everything from end-of-life care to what happens with your assets after death?
Can you protect your heirs from excessive taxation? What happens if you need the protection of the legal system and are no longer able to help yourself? Protecting your assets, your safety, your wishes, and your legacy are the cornerstones of a well-rounded estate plan.
The Law Office of Paul D. Hardy provides a wide range of estate planning services. We’ll work to create wills and trusts that honor your legacy. End-of-life issues like long-term care and guardianships can further ensure your wishes are followed, even in the event of incapacitation. Medicaid planning and elder law may help secure financial and legal protection in old age.
We will work within your budget and offer payment plan options.
We will work day and night for your case.
We are 100% attorney run – every motion, mediation, filing or question you have will be answered directly.
Paul Hardy combines an astute knowledge of both the law and business to help his clients in their estate planning needs. Before law school, Attorney Hardy studied Risk Management in Financial Services, developing knowledge that would be vital in advising his clients on their own long-term financial risk. Attorney Hardy has further background in family law, giving him good insight into the sensitive familial dynamics that often impact estate planning. A graduate of St. Mary’s, both undergraduate and law school, Attorney Hardy serves the people of San Antonio and beyond, into Cormal County, Hayes County, and Kendall County.
Isn’t Estate Planning for People Who Are Rich?
No! The word “estate” can conjure up images of a sprawling yard and luxurious mansion, as though we’re on the set of Downton Abbey. Reality is different. Your estate is simply the money and property you own at the time of your death. Estate planning consists of the various legal mechanisms that are used to ensure your wishes are known and respected, that you get the best possible tax treatment based on your goals and that prudent steps are taken to protect your assets as much as possible in your final years of life.
Can You Avoid Probate With a Will?
A will alone will not be enough for your heirs to avoid going through probate court, with its attendant fees. The way to keep your assets out of probate court is through the establishment of a living trust.
What Happens Without a Will?
When you die without a will, your estate becomes subject to the intestacy laws in the state of Texas. The state seeks to place your assets in the hands of living spouses, children, siblings and parents and has clear guidelines for different family scenarios. The problem is that the law for an entire state is simply not able to anticipate the particular wishes of a deceased person. That’s why it’s strongly advised to put your last will and testament into writing. That way, everyone knows what your wishes are, and courts will be able to enforce it.
What Are the Benefits of a Trust?
Staying out of probate court is just one of the advantages that a living trust can offer. A trust can be structured so as to minimize your tax exposure ,while still allowing you to gift money into it while you’re alive. If you believe the benefits to your beneficiaries are best deferred to a later date or spread out over time, you can appoint a trustee who can administer that after your passing. A trust offers you flexibility and allows your beneficiaries to avoid dealing with probate court .