As a licensed Houston estate planning attorney, I have spent most of my career helping and representing individuals with child support, divorce, guardianship, probate, and estate planning challenges. I began this work early on as a law student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, advocating for residents in the school’s wills, probate, and guardianship clinic.
I was the first member of my family to graduate from college and a first-generation woman entrepreneur. I understand how challenging it can feel when you’re climbing a steep mountain toward your goals, but I’m here to tell you that you’ve got this.
When you’re in the middle of a legal dispute with your family, it can feel hopeless. Whether you’re facing a divorce, fighting for your children’s custody, or dealing with a disagreement over a will, the situation becomes emotional. Having a compassionate attorney to guide you and protect your rights can help protect you from making costly mistakes.
My courtroom experience has taught me the importance of proper planning to avoid costly legal battles down the road. You may be in love, but having a prenuptial agreement is a smart investment. You may be young, but having an estate plan can protect your family from unexpected tax obligations. And when your kids go off to college, if you still want to be involved in their medical decisions, then you’ll need to create a medical power of attorney. Simple steps now can save a great deal of pain and heartache later.
Whatever your family situation, no question is too small. I will provide you with direct feedback and an honest assessment. I will work with you and help you debunk myths that may be keeping you from creating a comprehensive estate plan for your assets and for your family.
Call (281) 214-0173 or email our Houston office to set up a consultation.
The last thing most of us want to consider is our own mortality. But planning for the inevitable and unexpected is important, especially when you have a child, a spouse, or other loved ones who rely on you. A comprehensive plan for your estate ensures that you have control over how your estate is distributed and that your loved ones are cared for when you are gone.
Houston estate planning lawyer Whitney L. Thompson and her team of legal professionals in her law firm have dedicated their careers to helping clients plan for and protect their legacy, their future, and the future of their children and other family members. She understands that proper planning today avoids heartache and problems tomorrow. She and her team offer skilled legal estate planning advice and guidance so you can have the peace of mind you deserve.
To learn more about estate law in Houston and how you can plan for the future more accurately, call an estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson in Houston, TX.
Contact (281) 214-0173 today.
An estate plan may be the last thing on your mind, especially if you’re young. Our focus, rightfully, is on the present moment. So we hesitate to think about how our family will fare in the case of an emergency or accident.
Estate plans are not just for the ultra-wealthy. They are for anyone that has assets (no matter how modest) or loved ones to think about. An estate plan is essentially an instruction manual for your belongings and family in the event of your passing or in the case you become disabled. Without it, the state decides who or what takes control of your assets.
Probate happens after the fact. It’s the court process of recognizing a person’s death and ensuring the correct distribution of assets. The person who is named the “executor” or “personal representative” of a will needs to file for probate. An experienced lawyer can make the process as seamless as possible.
Regardless of what stage of life you’re at, estate planning is a wise choice to give you peace of mind. And if you’re on the receiving end of an estate plan, filing for probate can be a dizzying task. Luckily, the legal team at the Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson in Houston, Texas guides you through every step.
Understandably, many people wonder if estate planning involves simply creating a will. While a will is an important document to have under your belt, estate planning is more extensive. A will is just one part of the puzzle.
In the event that you become disabled or pass away, an estate plan can:
The best option is to take your estate into your own hands. You’ll gain the certainty and clarity of knowing your family will be cared for and your assets will go where you want them to.
Reach out to our Houston office today for a consultation on your estate planning and probate case.
An estate plan for your special needs child must cover their future so they can be cared for when you’re not there. Note that not all special needs children will need someone else to make decisions for them.
But in the case that your child does, we can help you:
For help planning your child’s future, contact our Houston office today at (281) 214-0173.
If you’re concerned for the health of elderly parents or relatives, it’s important to plan out their short-term and long-term care. Planning for disability or End-of-Life care can seem like a negative conversation but it is necessary in the case that an elderly person becomes incapacitated or terminally ill.
We can help arrange:
Consult our legal team today for questions about elder law. Call us at (281) 214-0173.
Is your family member looking for long-term care or treatment? Are you concerned about depleting assets to pay for care? Medicaid is a viable option. To be eligible, however, you must fall under a particular income and asset level.
Whether you need crisis planning for Medicaid or proactive planning for future Medicaid utilization, our office can assist. Reach out to our legal team in Houston today for help determining eligibility and taking the actions to receive Medicaid.
Estate planning is not only for the wealthy. If you own anything, that means you have an estate, and it should be protected no matter how modest it is. This is where estate planning comes in.
Your estate includes your home and other real estate, your car, personal belongings, bank accounts, retirement savings, investments, and life insurance. Anything you own is considered part of your estate. When you die, this estate gets passed on to your heirs, usually the spouse or the children. Estate planning allows you to choose how that happens and who gets what assets. Without it, the state makes those decisions.
Proper estate planning instructs the courts and your heirs on how you wish to have your belongings distributed. It will also address how you want matters handled if you become incapacitated. Do you have minor children? In the event that something happens to you, your estate plan makes provisions for their physical and financial care. Houston estate planning attorney Whitney L. Thompson can help ensure that your estate and loved ones are protected.
Contact our Houston office today at (281) 214-0173.
Putting a tailored estate plan into place protects you and ensures that your assets, your future, and your loved ones are taken care of should the unforeseeable happen.
Estate planning can be a complicated task and dealing with the process alone can make a person vulnerable to making mistakes. Having an experienced attorney can help you ensure that your estate is in good hands in the event you pass away.
Because none of us can predict the future or how long we will live, estate planning should begin early and be revisited periodically to make changes as our lives change. In other words, estate planning is important for anyone at any time. The best time to start is now. Our experienced Houston estate planning team will walk a client through each aspect of a potential estate plan so they can make decisions that are right for them and their family.
To schedule a consultation, call the experienced estate planning attorney Whitney L. Thompson at (281) 214-0173 to learn more about estate law and estate planning in Houston, TX.
Many times, estate planning is left for “someday.” But we never know what life holds for us. “Someday” may be too late.
No matter at what point you are in your life, an estate plan will:
Anyone can benefit from establishing an estate plan, especially when there are loved ones who depend on you physically and financially.
An estate plan is an umbrella under which many legal concepts and documents fall. Each individual and family is unique, so each estate plan will be different and tailored to the unique needs of that person and family.
Depending on your needs, estate planning services may include:
An estate plan affords you peace of mind that your wishes will be considered and protected no matter what happens. Seeking the legal advice of Houston estate planning attorneys may help a client understand the complexities of the processes and can help them avoid making estate planning mistakes.
A last will and testament are one of the most essential documents in any estate plan. In Texas, if you die without a valid will, you are considered to have died intestate and state intestate succession will determine who gets your assets and in what proportion. While this is typically your children or your next closest heirs, it will not consider anything or anyone outside of those close family members, despite what you may have wished.
While a will is one of the most important documents in your estate planning arsenal, it is limited in what it can do.
There are some things that must be considered when drafting a will in Texas:
In many cases, individuals will have coordinating trusts and wills that support each other. Houston estate planning attorney Whitney L. Thompson can explain what scenario may be best for a client, depending on their needs.
To schedule a consultation in Houston, please contact (281) 214-0173.
There are many different types of trusts serving different purposes. One of the primary reasons individuals choose to use trusts is because they avoid the time and cost of probate. Because a trust is not made public record, it can also afford the privacy that a will cannot. A revocable living trust, or living trust, is one of the most common.
A trust sets up a legal entity, trust, that holds assets transferred into it by you, the trustor. The trust is then managed by a designated trustee who will abide by the terms of the trust and distribute assets to your beneficiaries upon your death. With a revocable living trust, you can still benefit from the assets in the trust, change the terms or revoke it at any time during your life, and even act as a trustee.
Your plan for your estate should also direct how you want to be medically cared for and how you want your finances managed in case of an emergency. Powers of attorney and advance directives allow others to step in and make decisions on your behalf should something happen and you cannot do this for yourself. A power of attorney can be as broad or limited as you design it.
Financial powers of attorney give another party the right to make financial decisions and manage your finances on your behalf should you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney or statutory durable power of attorney authorizes your agent to do almost anything on your behalf except for making medical decisions.
Most comprehensive estate plans also set out health care directives and end-of-life scenarios. Your advance directives give instructions about your medical care and end-of-life decisions to your doctors and family. These directives often include a Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates, a Medical Power of Attorney, and an Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate form. Your medical power of attorney designates an agent to speak with your doctors and make decisions for you if you are unable to do that for yourself.
Houston estate planning lawyer Whitney L. Thompson may be able to help a client develop a well-rounded estate plan, providing them that peace of mind.
Contact us at (281) 214-0173, to schedule a consultation.
Long-term care is expensive and can quickly deplete any assets you have. Medicare does not provide this care, and individuals often need to rely on Medicaid when the time comes. But there are many eligibility criteria that need to be met and those who want to use these benefits must fall into specific income and asset parameters. While there are ways this can be done, this planning must be systematic and proactive.
For those who are concerned about care in later life, either for themselves or a family member, Houston estate planning attorney Whitney L. Thompson can help guide you and make the proper arrangements for:
You deserve the peace of mind about your or your loved one’s future.
If you have a special needs family member that must be provided for once they reach adulthood, or you become unable to care for them, you may benefit from special needs planning.
In many cases, special needs children or other family members rely on government benefits and resources for their care. An experienced Houston estate planning lawyer Whitney L. Thompson will help you protect your family member’s benefits while putting together a plan that ensures that they are taken care of without losing those benefits they rely on.
Just like how planning for an estate should be specific to each person’s needs, it is also important to exert the effort to find the most qualified estate planning attorney who can help you with your future plans. Taking time to do your research will be helpful when it comes to how your attorney will benefit your case.
One of the most important things to consider before hiring a lawyer is their location. Generally, it is best to find an estate planning attorney or a law firm that specializes in estate planning near your home. While consultations are possible by phone, many people prefer to talk face-to-face about their estate. Talking to your lawyer face to face is also important to get a gist of their work attitude. This way, you can evaluate whether you are comfortable in letting them handle your matters regarding your estate.
The location of your estate planning attorney is also important for understanding local law frameworks. Notarized wills and other estate planning documents require that the estate planning lawyer be present at signing to ensure they comply with all applicable state and federal laws.
It is also important that your estate planning attorney is experienced in that role. Although it’s fine to have an estate planning lawyer draw from other areas of practice to give the best advice, they also need to be able to provide you with skilled advice on related processes such as the probate process and other estate planning matters.
A good estate planning attorney can do more than just provide their client with information about laws surrounding estate planning. It is important that they are open to collaboration with the client’s family and other interested parties such as the client’s financial advisors. Most importantly, your estate planning attorney should be willing to interact with you and truly get to know you. This is the only way they can confidently provide advice and make decisions in everyone’s best interest.
When choosing your estate planning attorney, there are a lot of things you need to consider. This is why it is important to not rush your decisions and really take the time to do your research. If you are looking for an experienced estate planning attorney in Houston, contact the Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson today.
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Depending on the family, estate planning can be simple or highly complex. Each individual and family has unique needs and there can never be a one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning.
At the Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson, PLLC, lawyer Whitney L. Thompson and her team of legal professionals have strived to build long-term relationships with a client so we can understand those needs and concerns. A client deserves the peace of mind of knowing that you have a solid plan for your estate in place to protect the ones you love.
Houston estate planning attorney Whitney L. Thompson and her team are happy to answer any questions you may have about your Houston estate and how your unique situation can be best addressed.
Call us at (281) 214-0173 or contact us via our website contact form to schedule a confidential consultation.