Estate Planning Attorney in San Antonio

Helping To Plan Your Future

Thorough and appropriate estate planning is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to yourself and those you love. While none of us wants to contemplate a time when we will no longer be around, you and your loved ones deserve the peace of mind that accompanies a well-planned future.

When looking forward, many questions come to mind. These may include:

  • Who will care for your minor children after you are gone?
  • Who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated?
  • How will your assets be distributed?

At the Amsberry Law Firm, we are committed to helping each of our clients prepare for their future. We understand and appreciate that every individual or family situation is unique, so we go the distance for you, taking time to understand your wants and needs.

Each document we prepare is tailored to the specific person and family it is created to protect and serve.

Our estate planning package is designed to uphold your decisions and preserve as much of your estate as possible for your beneficiaries.

Plan for tomorrow today. Ensure your wishes are not only known but also protected. Contact the estate planning attorney at Amsberry Law Firm at (210) 354-2244 for more information and to schedule an initial consultation.

Why Choose Our Estate Lawyer in San Antonio

Estate Planning: It’s More Than Just Drafting a Will

Some people view estate planning quite simply. They believe it is making sure they have a valid will. While this legal document is incredibly important in determining many things, it is not all-encompassing.

Estate planning is a process designed to ensure that your wishes — regarding everything from the guardianship of your children to your healthcare decisions, to protecting your wealth — are clearly communicated and safeguarded. Your estate planning lawyer is responsible for creating documents that ensure your decisions are upheld when you can no longer advocate for yourself.

Work With an Estate Planning Attorney in San Antonio

When you work with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can rest assured that the service you receive will encompass the totality of what is available and that you will have proven professional guidance and advice when creating valuable documents. There are many services we provide as part of our estate planning practice.

Documents Our Estate Attorneys Can Draft for You

Well drafted estate documents are essential to ensure your full intentions are expressed and carried out. Our experienced estate attorney will ask you specific questions to determine what documents will best fit your intent and what should be addressed in each document. Our team will make sure you know all options available to you.

Wills

This multifunctional yet fundamental estate planning tool allows you to direct the distribution of your assets after your death, appoint a guardian for minor children, and arrange for certain debts to be repaid. Without a will, your estate will be distributed according to the Texas laws of intestacy, and the outcome may not be what you intended. Often thought of as the basis of estate planning, a will drafted in compliance with the laws of the state is a critical piece of every estate plan.

Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)

While each individual would like to believe that he or she will remain in a position to make well-thought-out decisions, this is unfortunately not always the case. Due to accidents, illness or simple aging, you may become incapacitated and unable to make financial decisions for yourself. A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to do this for you, when and if it becomes necessary. Your Amsberry estate planning attorney will provide helpful guidance as you choose the allowances you designate for things like paying bills and taxes, buying and selling real estate, and making investments on your behalf. By creating a DPOA you control who will manage your finances.

Medical Power of Attorney

Sometimes the unthinkable happens and you may be unable to make medical decisions for yourself.   A Medical Power of Attorney is the document in which you appoint a family member or trusted friend to make these decisions for you should you become unable. Executing this document allows you to choose who makes healthcare decisions on your behalf.

HIPAA release

In the United States, your medical information is protected by laws known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule. In short, this law prevents your healthcare information from being shared. Of course, keeping such information private is important; you want to protect yourself and those you love. That said, if you become ill or incapacitated, you will likely want a designee to have access to your information to make sure things are being handled appropriately.

A HIPAA release form gives hospitals, doctors’ offices, and insurance companies permission to share your medical/ healthcare information with an individual whom you designate. For example, you might want a relative to be able to review or question a bill with your insurance company if you are unable to do so yourself.

Advance Directives (or “Medical” Directives)

Many people have strong feelings regarding the steps they would like to have taken should they be diagnosed with a terminal illness. Sometimes referred to as “living wills,” these advance directives allow you to define how you would like to be treated should you later be unable to share this information yourself.  You can specify how long you want to be on life support as well as what medical procedures you want and what you wish to avoid. In Texas, these documents may be referred to as a “Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates.”

Trusts

For many people, creating a trust is a wise strategic decision. Depending upon how it is structured, it can help your estate bypass probate, protect it from creditors’ claims, minimize estate taxes, and/or ensure that loved ones with special needs are cared for financially without impacting access to public benefits. Your estate planning lawyer can help determine whether creating a trust is in your best interest.

Do you need a trust? The short answer is “maybe.” A trust is an entity that is created to hold assets, like your home. For many, trusts are an integral part of an estate plan and can help protect against significant costs. Revocable living trusts help avoid probate, identify the individual to manage affairs, protect assets, and minimize taxes. However, not every person or family would benefit from a trust. Your estate planning attorney can explain the specific value to you, based upon your unique situation, and help determine whether a trust is a necessary addition to your estate plan.

Estate administration

The Amsberry Law Firm has vast experience in estate administration and can help your loved ones deal with any unexpected issues, including challenges to your will or addressing issues involved with property you may have owned outside of Texas.

Probate

In your will, you will name an executor of your estate. This individual is responsible for managing your affairs after you die.  We can assist this person in settling your estate. As an experienced Texas probate attorney, Russell Amsberry can expedite the process and help ensure that your beneficiaries receive their inheritances in a timely fashion.

Probate Litigation

Sadly, not all estate decisions are made appropriately. Sometimes a loved one is believed to be under the undue influence of other family members or to be a victim of fraud. In cases like this, probate litigation may be necessary to provide resolution. Our estate lawyer at Amsberry Law can help with the probate process by providing experienced litigation services.

Not every person or family needs each and every document or service. At Amsberry Law, we work with you to understand your specific situation and take the time to prepare a plan tailored to it. Estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all process.


Our San Antonio Estate Planning Lawyer Helps Provide Peace of Mind

Why You Should Not Avoid Planning for the Future

Your estate attorney can help you perceive estate planning as it is intended: a positive step toward a stress-free future. The process is forward-looking, focused on taking care of those you love. In reality, many individuals and families don’t plan ahead, and they usually have a host of excuses as to why it is unnecessary. “We aren’t rich” and “it’s too expensive” are two common reasons people ignore estate planning.

Denying the need for estate planning often results in significant consequences. You will not have control over who makes decisions on your behalf or who actually inherits your assets. Your estate may move to probate, which can be costly, time-consuming, and complicated.

Making important decisions while you are able and ensuring they are legally documented protects those you love.

Understanding the intricacies of some of the services we provide will help you see the value in taking time to appropriately plan and prepare.

When You Need a Guardianship as Part of Your Estate Plan

Our Estate Attorney Explains How Guardianships Work

Sometimes situations arise where you may need or want to become a guardian for a minor child or an individual with special needs. Should you be the guardian of a minor child you would manage his or her financial assets. Usually, this type of guardianship is awarded when the child’s parents are no longer alive or are unable to care for them appropriately.  If you have guardianship over an adult who is incapable of caring for himself or herself, you would be legally able to make both healthcare and financial decisions on that individual’s behalf. (TX Est. Code § 1001.001)

Among the guardianship and estate issues with which we can help are:

  • Temporary and permanent guardianship
  • Government benefits
  • Healthcare proxies
  • Guardianship appeals.

Guardianship can be complicated, so working with an estate planning attorney who understands Texas state laws is critical.

Defending Your Estate Against a Contest

Our Attorney Will Fight for You if You Face Estate Litigation

Sometimes, family members believe that the estate planning documents executed do not accurately reflect the wishes of the individual who has passed away. When this happens, they can contest the will — in other words, formally object to its validity.

Simply being unhappy and claiming that a will is inaccurate do not establish grounds for a challenge. There must be a legal basis for it. These can include fraud, duress, forgery, lack of capacity, or even undue influence.

Should there be an issue with your will being contested by your heirs, an estate litigation attorney can help defend the documents. Our attorney will create estate plans that comply with the laws of Texas and that will hold up under the closest scrutiny.

One of the best protections against estate litigation is having well-drafted estate plans from the start. Our team at Amsberry Law Firm will anticipate potential issues that could arise with your estate and will draft your estate planning documents to avoid them. We pride ourselves on keeping our clients well-informed. We will explain to you the estate planning process and your options and advise when you may have reason to adjust your planning as life circumstances change.

Call us today at (210) 354-2244 to talk through any concerns you have about estate planning. We will listen carefully and tailor our planning to meet your needs. Give yourself peace of mind. Work with our experienced estate attorney at Amsberry Law Firm.

Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions

San Antonio Estate Lawyer Provides Answers

Estate planning can be a daunting proposition for many people. You may have many questions about how to prepare in advance for your eventual passing. Below, our estate law planning attorney has responded to some of the issues most often raised.

What happens if I don’t have a will?

If you pass away without a will, the state of Texas will determine the heirs to your estate. Their intestacy laws may not align with who you would like to have as your beneficiaries. Making a will ensures that your wishes are clearly stated and upheld.

How often should I update my will?

In general, you should update your will whenever you experience significant life changes. These include a change in marital status, the birth of a child or grandchild, the purchase or sale of real estate, and changes in earnings or health. You want to ensure that your will accurately reflects your current situation.

Do I need an attorney to create an estate plan?

Working with a reputable attorney is a wise decision. This professional can create documents that comport with the laws of the state in which you reside and can leverage his or her experience to help you make smart decisions.

Where should I store my estate planning documents?

We recommend keeping your important documents either in a bank safe deposit box or in a fireproof box in your home. Additionally, it is wise to share the location of these documents with a family member or close friend who will know how to access them when necessary. You may even want to provide them with a copy of the documents along with the location of the originals.

I just moved to Texas; do I need a new will?

It is a good thing to have your will drafted in the state in which you reside. Laws often differ from state to state, and you want to be sure your documents are legally sound.

Can I change my will?

Yes, you can change your will. A codicil is the best way to make changes. It is basically an amendment to the document you have previously executed. Your estate planning attorney can help draft a codicil to reflect your new decisions.


If you have additional questions regarding estate planning, contact Amsberry Law at (210) 354-2244.

Our Amsberry Law Estate Planning Lawyer Gives Clients Security in Their Plans

Providing Personalized Guidance, Legally Sound Documents and Peace of Mind

Amsberry Law is committed to providing the highest quality estate planning services to its clients. We know the value of having appropriate documents and plans in place and are experienced in guiding our clients through the process.

We have seen, firsthand, the value in planning today for tomorrow. Tomorrow is never promised, and the situations the comprise your life can be uncertain. We appreciate that acknowledging many of these possibilities can be uncomfortable and even frightening. But, taking the time now allows you to determine the course of the future. You can protect and care for those you love. Making difficult decisions today, for yourself, alleviates the pressure others may face in the future.

Estate planning is appropriate for everyone. Your age, income, assets, health, and marital and family status helps guide your decisions on what to do…but everyone should do something.

Contact Our San Antonio Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you are looking for thoughtful, personal estate planning guidance from a professional well-versed in Texas law, contact Amsberry Law today. We are proud of the services we have provided to our clients for over 25 years in both San Antonio and the surrounding areas.

We look forward to helping you plan for the future and ensuring that those whom you love are protected and cared for. Contact us today at (210) 354-2244 to schedule a meeting and learn more about how we can help you.