Top-Rated Estate Planning Lawyer Serving Clients in Celina, Collin County, Denton County, Grayson County and Throughout North Texas
Every adult in Texas should have a comprehensive estate plan in place. With a well-structured estate plan, you can be confident that your last wishes will be respected and your loved ones will be protected—no matter what tomorrow might bring.
At The Cawlfield Law Firm, PLLC, our Celina estate planning attorney is a diligent, client-focused advocate for individuals and families in North Texas. To set up a strictly confidential initial consultation with an experienced Texas estate planning lawyer, please contact us at our Celina law office today.
AN OVERVIEW OF ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES WE OFFER IN TEXAS
A will is a foundational estate planning document. Indeed, wills are usually the simplest device for planning the distribution of an estate. It is important that a will be created and executed in compliance with the laws of the jurisdiction where it is created. Otherwise, problems—potentially including litigation—may arise. If it is possible that probate proceedings will occur in a different jurisdiction, it is important also to ensure that the will complies with the laws of that jurisdiction or that the jurisdiction will follow the provisions of a valid out-of-state will even if they might be invalid for a will executed in that jurisdiction.
With wills, one-size-fits-all solutions are simply not very effective. You need a will that is customized for your specific situation. We will help you draft a will that best serves your interests and accomplishes your goals. Call us today to set up a confidential consultation with our experienced Texas will attorney.
Living Wills (Advance Directives)
Estate planning is about far more than dividing up property. A proper estate plan should protect you in the event that you are no longer able to express your own wishes. Beyond giving a trusted loved one the legal authority that they need to act on your behalf, you may also want to record your medical/end-of-life wishes.
A living will—also known as an advance directive—is a legal document that specifies the type of medical care that an individual does or does not want in the event they are unable to communicate their wishes. In the absence of a living will, decisions about medical care becomes the responsibility of the spouse, family members or other third parties. These individuals may be unaware of the patient’s desires, or they may not wish to follow the patient’s unwritten, verbal directives. If you want a say regarding your medical care or end-of-life care, it is strongly recommended that you create a legally enforceable living will.
Although every adult needs a will, it is not always the best available estate planning tool for passing down property and assets to heirs. For some, creating a trust is a more efficient and more cost effective option. Do not believe the myths and misconceptions about trusts—they are not merely tools for the ultra wealthy. Quite the opposite, many middle class people in North Texas can benefit from creating a trust.
There are many different types of trusts. What type of trust should be used will depend, in large part, on your objectives and the unique nature of your situation. At The Cawlfield Law Firm, PLLC, our Celina, TX trust attorney has the skills and experience to help you find the solution that is best for your specific circumstances. If you have questions about trust planning in Texas, call our Celina law office today.
Probate and Estate Administration
Probate is the legal process through which a person’s last wishes are confirmed and their estate is settled. The first question in probate is always the same: Did the person have a will? If there was a will, its validity must be confirmed and the estate will be settled accordingly.
However, if there is no will, then a person’s estate will be handled under the Texas intestacy rules. Applying the intestacy laws can be complicated. If your loved one died without a will, we can help you navigate the process and protect your rights.
We represent individuals and families during Texas probate and estate administration. Whether your loved one passed away with a will or without a will, we can help. If you are preparing for probate or you have any questions about the process in general, please do not hesitate to contact our Celina, TX probate and estate administration attorney for immediate assistance.
Power of Attorney (POA)
A power of attorney (POA) is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. However, all POAs are not created equal. Each type gives your attorney-in-fact (the person who will be making decisions on your behalf) a different level of control. Here are four specific types of powers of attorney that our attorney can help you set up in Texas:
- General Power of Attorney A general power of attorney gives broad powers to a person or organization (known as an agent or attorney-in-fact) to act on your behalf. These powers include handling financial and business transactions, buying life insurance, settling claims, operating business interests, making gifts, and employing professional help. General power of attorney is an effective tool if you will be out of the country and need someone to handle certain matters, or when you are physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs.
- Durable Power of Attorney Suppose you become mentally incompetent due to illness or accident while you have a power of attorney in effect. Will the document remain valid? To safeguard against any problems, you can sign a durable power of attorney. This is simply a general, special, or health care POA that has a durability provision to keep the current power of attorney in effect.
- Special Power of Attorney You can specify exactly what powers an agent may exercise by signing a special power of attorney. This is often used when one cannot handle certain affairs due to other commitments or health reasons. Selling property (personal and real), managing real estate, collecting debts, and handling business transactions are some of the common matters specified in a special power of attorney document.
- Health Care Power of Attorney A health care power of attorney grants your agent authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make decisions on your own. While not the same thing as a living will, many states allow you to include your preference about being kept on life support. Some states will allow you to combine parts of the health care POA and living will into an advanced health care directive.
- HIPAA Release The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a comprehensive federal law that regulates health care providers and health insurance companies. For individuals and families, one of the most important things to know about HIPAA is that it requires doctors and health care providers to strictly protect the confidentiality of medical records and other sensitive health information. While these privacy protections are extremely important, the law also creates some challenges. Without the proper HIPAA release in place, it can be difficult for family members and other trusted loved ones to get access to your medical records if you become incapacitated. You can plan for this—indeed, a HIPAA authorization is a key part of a comprehensive estate plan. It is a detailed legal document that allows physicians, medical providers, and insurance companies to share otherwise confidential health care information with trusted people.
Adult Guardianships (Soon to Be 18-Year-Olds)
In Texas, an 18-year-old is legally an adult. With that comes both rights and responsibilities. For parents of disabled or special needs children, an 18th birthday presents some unique challenges. You may realize that your child is not currently or may never be in a position to manage their own financial or legal affairs. There are options available.
In some cases, you may need to obtain an adult guardianship in order to effectively care for your vulnerable child. In Collin County, TX, approximately 80 percent of adult guardianship cases involve soon to be 18-year-olds who are incapacitated and expected to remain that way. If you are the parent or guardian of a special needs teenager who is nearing an 18th birthday, we can help you put in the proper legal structure in place to protect their health and well-being.
Our compassionate Celina, TX guardianship attorney has the skills and experience to advise parents and other close family members seeking an adult guardianship for teenagers. We will explore every available option to create the best possible environment for your child/loved one to thrive. In some situations, a less restrictive alternative—including powers of attorney, a Special Needs Trust (SNT), a supported decision-making agreement, or some combination of all three—may be appropriate. In other cases, a full guardianship of your adult child may be the best option. We will help you understand your rights, navigate the process, and take action to protect your family.
Adult Guardianships (Older Adults)
There may come a point in time when an adult is no longer able to manage their own financial or legal affairs. For a family, this can be an especially difficult and stressful time. Depending on the circumstances, an adult guardianship may be set up to protect an incapacitated or otherwise vulnerable person.
Under Texas state law, courts are required to consider “less restrictive alternatives” when hearing guardianship cases. In other words, a court will only allow an adult guardianship if deemed truly necessary to protect a vulnerable person’s safety and well-being.
We understand how challenging going through a guardianship case can be. If you have any questions or concerns about adult guardianships in Texas, please contact our compassionate Celina adult guardianship lawyer for immediate assistance with your case.
How Estate Planning Attorney Eddie Cawlfield Can Help
An entrepreneur and co-founder of a successful healthcare staffing company, Eddie Cawlfield brings a diverse, well-rounded perspective to his clients. Fluent in Spanish and a Member of the Estate Planning Committee of the Collin County Bar Association, Mr. Cawfield has deep experience advising clients across a wide range of estate planning matters. When you reach out to our law firm, you will get a Texas estate planning attorney who will:
- Listen to your story, understand your objectives, and answer your questions;
- Help you understand your estate planning options;
- Gather and organize all relevant documents and records; and
- Devise a comprehensive estate plan that is narrowly tailored to suit your unique needs.
Eddie Cawlfield is committed to providing reliable, fully personalized estate planning services to our clients. Our legal team strives to help our clients achieve true peace, security, and confidence through careful planning. We are proud of our testimonials from satisfied clients. If you have any questions about your legal rights or your estate planning options, please contact us today.
Call Our Celina, TX Estate Planning Lawyer Today
At The Cawlfield Law Firm, PLLC, our Texas estate planning attorney is a skilled, attentive advocate for clients. We will help you craft an estate plan that works best for your unique situation. For a fully private, no obligation consultation, please contact our law firm today. From our law office in Celina’s historic downtown, we serve communities throughout the region, including in Denton County, Collin County, Cooke County, and Grayson County.