“Creating a Will” Seminar Highlights

April 24, 2014  | By Kevin Smith

Our “Creating a Will” seminar was well-received by those who attended. The presenter, Marty Roos of Strasburger & Price LLP, did an excellent job of providing practical education to help the audience understand important considerations when planning for your estate. Here are some of the notes that I found valuable…

  • The changing political landscape has a tremendous impact on estate tax rules, making long term tax-efficient planning difficult. The current law exempts the first $5.34 million of an individual’s estate from the 40% taxation. To put that into perspective, if your estate is valued below that level currently, remember that an 8% annual growth rate of your assets will cause them to double every 9 years.
  • The probate process in Texas is relatively inexpensive and less time consuming than many other states. This makes using a traditional will more practical and reduces the likelihood that you may need a Revocable or Living Trust, which add costs and can be cumbersome because all of your assets need to be assigned to the Trust.
  • There are a vast number of estate planning tools available such as will documents, various trusts and beneficiary designations, but understanding how they may apply to you requires some basic education and guidance from a professional who understands your situation. We have seen plenty of trusts that do not provide a useful function and are burdensome to maintain. Good estate planning can reduce complexity for your family.
  • The supporting estate planning documents such as powers of attorney and healthcare directives are critically important, and you will want to know their practical implications.
  • The real life experience of an estate planning attorney has a significant value that is not likely captured in online template-driven will generators. For example, the actual risks and potential outcomes of providing power of attorney, having a joint account, or the responsibilities of trustees that are often not understood.
  • If you may be the executor of your family’s estate, you will one day thank yourself for addressing estate planning issues sooner rather than later. The executor often takes on the burden of trying to keep peace among family members while spending significant time and energy complying with the wishes of the deceased.
  • Estate planning also applies while you are living. This includes protecting your assets from potential creditors, long term care events, and protecting your interests in the event you are incapacitated.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. You can also contact Marty Roos directly with the information below.


Marty Roos Partner

Board Certified Estate Planning and Probate Law

Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Strasburger & Price, LLP • 2301 Broadway • San Antonio, TX 78215

210.250.6161 • Fax 210.258.2745 • www.strasburger.com

Kevin X. Smith, CFA
  |  [email protected]

Kevin is responsible for advising clients for whom he is the lead financial advisor. He also manages the operations and development of the firm, and oversees all of the investments of Austin Wealth Management clients. Kevin is on a mission…Read More

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