Common Questions

I am married with young children. Do I really need a Will?
Yes. Wills are the last things most parents with young children want to think about. However, you
owe it to your kids to have your Wills prepared. It is really important to get your Will done and done
right because if you fail to do it properly, a Court will likely decide who will care for your kids.

What does a Will do?
A good Will lets you decide who is going to care for your kids. In Texas, you can appoint a
“Guardian of the Person” in your will and also a document called a “Declaration of Guardian” in the
event of your incapacity.
Leaving money for your kids in a Trust is another important thing you can do to protect the future
of your children. A Trust set up in your Will makes it possible for your chosen Trustee to make sure
the money and property you leave for your kids will be safe and used for their benefit according to
your instructions.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) was passed by the United States Congress on January 1, 2013, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama the next day. As it relates to Estate, Gift and GST tax, the $5 million dollar exemption for individual estates ($10 million for couples) remains in place. Note that indexed for inflation, the $5 million dollar exemption is currently $5,250,000. Estates would be taxed at a top rate of 40% (up from 35%). In addition, the exemption amount (for gift, estate and GST taxes) remains unified and is permanently extended after 12/31/12. Portability of the unused credit is also made permanent.

This new law will certainly be something that individuals will want to consider in their Estate Plan and as such will want to visit with their financial, accounting and legal professionals to determine whether any revisions to their planning is necessary in light of this new law.