214.843.1751

ESTATE PLANNING


WILLS, TRUSTS, FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS


Who you are!

For Your Family Wealth Planning
Estate Planning: Wills Trusts, FLPs . . .
Asset Protection Planning
Probate — Estate Handling, Inheritance protection

You love your family.  You want to ensure things are as easy as possible for them, if and when something happens to you.

You show your love through acts of service.  You want to pass on what you have worked so hard for your entire life and do it in a way that feels good and full of ease.

Your wealth isn’t measured just by the dollars in the bank, but by the well-being of the people you love.

You care so much.

 

 

 

 

 

How We Are Different – for Families

Explaining to you how we’re different requires an explanation of what the “traditional” experience with a lawyer is like.  If you’ve worked with a lawyer to prepare a Will, Trust, S-Corporation, LLC or any other legal documents for you in the past, this will sound familiar.

During the traditional experience, you’ll go in and meet with a lawyer who will oftentimes make things seem very complicated and confusing.

family_in_hands.jpg

You’ll have a good idea your lawyer is smart and seems to know what he’s doing, so you’ll nod and answer questions as if you understand everything.  Because you want to do the right thing for your family and for your business, you’ll have the lawyer prepare documents for you and you’ll sign the documents, feeling relieved you got THAT taken care of.

You’ll take your fancy estate planning binder full of documents home, stick them on a shelf or in a drawer, mark estate planning off your checklist as DONE, feel good and never think about it again.

You might remember your lawyer said something about moving your bank accounts into your trust so you’ll go to the bank, forget what you were supposed to do, call your lawyer’s office, get a voicemail, have to leave the bank and wait for a call back, (which takes several hours at least and sometimes days) and by that time, you’ll have gotten busy with other things and never get around to moving that bank account.

A few weeks later, you’ll get a bill in the mail for $67.50 for 15 minutes of your lawyer’s time for answering a couple of questions.  You’ll make a mental note– don’t call lawyer ever again.

Several years later, you’ll refinance your house or sell it and buy a new one and forget that you were supposed to let your lawyer know or make sure you kept the title in the name of the trust.

Your children will get older, making your guardianship choices outdated, but you don’t want to call your lawyer because you know you’ll get a bill in the mail two weeks later.

You’ll hear something about a change in the tax law, but you figure you’d surely get a letter in the mail from your lawyer if it was something that affected you, so you don’t worry about it.  And, you’d have to dig through boxes to find your trust documents so you could remember your lawyer’s name and find her contact information.  Who has time for that?

It’s not until you become incapacitated or die and your family finds the binder you stuck up on a shelf several years before and never looked at again, that they’ll realize your plan is so outdated that it has nothing to do with your life, your assets and the law.

Your family is at a loss.  They don’t know where to turn or what to do, so they contact the same lawyer you used to prepare the documents, who is as happy as can be to probate your assets, which never made it into the trust.

How do I know all this?

Because not too long ago, it happened to my family and to my business and I swore it would never happen to my clients when I created my own firm.  And since then, I have seen countless clients come in to see me who have had this exact experience.

Unfortunately, what I discovered is the legal industry was not designed to serve growing families who experience lots of change on their way to success. It was designed to serve 70 and 80-year-olds who were preparing for death.  Business lawyers are for the most part simply incorporating businesses, but not truly and proactively advising them during the process of growth.

Our Firm Prepares You for Life

What makes our firm different is that we were built with the needs of growing families in mind. We understand you are BUSY, you are growing, you are planning for a life of prosperity and you value ease, convenience, and efficiency. You want to know you’ve made the best decisions for your family and that your plan will work when your loved ones need it most. You want to make sure your children would be taken care of in the best way possible and will be prepared to receive your wealth if anything happens to you.

That is our focus as well. We’ve developed unique systems to give you the same access to your own lawyer as was previously only available to the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Sam Walton so you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and wealth.

We encourage communication with our clients. In fact, we’ve thrown out the time clocks so you never have to be afraid to call with a quick question. Everything we do is billed on a flat-fee basis, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprises.

We have a whole team to serve you. When you call our office to ask your quick question, you won’t have to wait hours or days for a phone call back. You’ll get your question answered, right away. And, if you need to schedule a more in-depth legal or strategic call with your personal lawyer, a call will be scheduled when you’re both available and ready for the call so we can make the very best use of your time and not waste your time by leaving voicemail after voicemail back and forth.

And, we ensure the most important details of your planning are followed through on and your plan continues to work throughout your lifetime.

We have a “funding coordinator” to ensure your assets are protected throughout your lifetime and none of your assets will end up going through a long, expensive court process or being lost to the state because they were missed after your death.

We’ve created unique membership programs to keep your plan up to date year after year as well as give you access to our Trusted Team of Legal Experts for guidance on ANY legal or financial matter. One day you will a lawyer. I don’t know why and I don’t know when, but when you do, you will be grateful you can call on us and we’ll be here to advise you or get you out of a jam.

Lastly, we believe your financial wealth is only a small part of your overall “Family Wealth” which is made up of your far more valuable, Intellectual, Spiritual and Human assets – who you are and what’s important to you.

Most estate plans are only able to transfer your financial wealth onto the next generation. The intangible nature of your much greater wealth has made it difficult to capture and it is most often lost when someone passes. How much do you know about your grandparents values? Their most prized personal possessions? How they felt about you? What they had learned during their lifetime?

If you are like most people, you know very little. But, the wealthiest families capture these assets and pass them along right with their financial wealth.  And, that’s part of the reason the rich keep getting richer.  It’s your turn now.

We’ve developed a tool that allows us to pass on far more than just your money – your whole family wealth, including your Intellectual, Spiritual and Human assets.  I can’t go into all of the details here, but we’ll definitely talk about when you come into meet with us..

We look forward to seeing you and caring for your family soon!

– Jac Schuster

PS – if you think this all sounds expensive, well, you are right and you’re wrong. I can guarantee you that if you qualify to meet with us, that planning is substantially less costly than it would be for your family if you died with a plan that didn’t work or if you didn’t have a plan in place at all. And, I’ve never had a single family who believed in this kind of planning and wanted to put it in place for their loved ones leave my office because they couldn’t afford it. We’ve made creative financing available to our clients because we know that this planning is the foundation for a life of success!

Three Levels of Planning

Estate planning at our law firm is not one size fits all. We offer 3 levels of planning to suit your varying needs.  From starter plans primarily for families with young children and little in the way of financial wealth to more robust plans for well-established families concerned with matters of asset protection, preservation and increased growth, we’ve got you covered.

Generally, our fees range between $2,000 up to $8,000 on the high end for an extensive plan.  It’s our opinion that if you are looking for less expensive planning, you may as well read up and do it yourself because you’ll get the same quality of planning online as you will with any lawyer charging fees that are less.  Our plans are focused on ensuring your family has somewhere to turn if and when something happens to you, that your plan will work and you have real security, not the false security that comes with a cheap set of estate planning documents.

Personalized Service

We believe in personalized service for each and every client. Our approach is educational and proactive – we first determine your individual needs, desires and values, and then tailor your plan to best fulfill your dreams.

We represent families throughout varying stages of life:

  • traditional two parent families or single parents wishing to provide for and protect their children and themselves;

  • unmarried couples who are either solidifying their relationship through proper planning or dissolving their relationship with the assistance of caring counsel,

  • blended families negotiating the challenges of creating new relationships with varying expectations

  • high net worth families seeking strategies for minimizing estate and income taxes

  • family business owners seeking ways to protect and expand their companies and considering how and when to transition to the next generation of ownership

  • estate executors and beneficiaries navigating the court process of probate administration

  • family members or trustees carrying out the legacy left behind through a trust administration

We have annual membership programs to ensure your plan continues to work throughout your lifetime, your assets are always owned in the right way and you are able to feel confident calling us with any legal issue without ever worrying about receiving a bill in the mail for hourly fees. Whether you participate in one of our membership programs or not, we keep all of our clients updated about changes in the law and issues that might affect your life.

We often serve the whole family and multiple generations of the same family.  From free estate checkups for elderly parents to basic planning documents for young adult children, become part of our client family and feel how much we care.

More Than Just Your Money . . .

Leaving a Real Legacy – Who You Are & What’s Important to You

How We Guide You to Leave a Legacy That’s About Much More Than Just Your Money

After you are gone, your loved ones will miss you deeply. They will long for your words of counsel and concern. Hearing your voice again would be a tremendous gift.

Through our unique legacy process, you can give your loved ones the most precious gift – a lasting expression of your love. What could be more valuable?

We believe estate planning is not just about transferring your financial assets and personal belongings. It’s also about capturing and transferring your valuable intangible gifts: who you are and what’s important to you – your values, insights, stories, and experience.

Several years ago, my dad died.  He had left me a voicemail message on my cell phone and for years after he died, I would listen to it when I missed him. Until the very bad day when it was accidentally deleted.

How I wish I still had that voicemail message. Or even better, that I had a recording of my dad telling me what he loved about me, what his hopes for me were, what life lessons were most important to him, what values he most wanted for me, or even just saying my nickname that he had always called me.

When I was first in practice, I would tell my clients to record a message for their loved ones and put it in a safe place or simply write notes to their children letting them know how they felt about them.  But so few people ever actually did it. We just get so caught up with the day to day of our lives that focusing in on leaving a legacy seems to take a back seat.

So we realized we’d have to build this into our planning process and not make it just another thing you’ll get done someday. That’s why at [name of law firm] we make it part of our planning for every client to help you capture and pass on more than just your money: your intellectual, spiritual and human assets, who you are and what’s important to you.

For more information about how we help you pass on your most valuable assets – your values, insights, stories, and experience  – to your loved ones, or about our resources for leaving your family with a true legacy, please contact us.

WHAT WOULD IT BE WORTH?

Can you picture someone who’s passed away, someone you love and miss deeply?   Can you recall a conversation you had with them? Can you remember the sound of their voice and what they told you?  What if you could hear their voice again?

What if they could speak to you—heart to heart—and share their wisdom and advice?  What would it be worth to you to hear their words one more time?

What is it worth to you to know that they’ll always know exactly how much you love them?  It’s worth a lot to us and we are honored to be able to provide you and your family with this gift.

Planning For Your Children . . .

Having a Will Alone Simply Does Not Ensure the Care of Your Kids If the Unthinkable Happens to You!

If you are a parent of minor children (or those with special needs) who is counting on you, your estate plan must begin with ensuring your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.

One of our areas of greatest expertise is in planning for the well-being and care of the children you love.

Without advance legal planning for the care of your children, if the unthinkable happens to you, here’s what could happen:

  • Your children could be placed into the care of Child Protective Services (yes, even if you have a will in place and even if you have a living trust) and, yes, it would very likely only be temporary, but trust me, you never want your children in the arms of strangers.  Not even for a minute.

  • Your children could be put into the custody and care of someone you would never want, like that one family member who has good intentions, but you’d never want to raise your kids.

  • A judge who doesn’t know you, or your family, will decide who will raise your kids, even if it’s the last person you would ever want;

  • Your family could get into a long, drawn-out custody fight or there could be a challenge to the guardians you have designated;

  • Up to 5% of the value of your assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process, a court process that can tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably, which can totally be avoided with advance legal planning;

  • When your kids turn 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left;

  • There are unscrupulous people out there who make it their business to look at the public records to find out when 18-year-olds are getting that inheritance check;

  • The vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues and do not plan from a parent’s perspective.

Yes, these things scare us too. That’s why we offer a Kids Protection Plan with every estate plan we do for families with young children.

What is a Kids Protection Plan®?

A Kids Protection Plan® is a set of instructions, legal documents and even an ID card for your wallet, which you need to have if you have kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.

If you are in an accident, your plan for the kids will make sure your children are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services, strangers or the care of anyone you wouldn’t want because the authorities don’t have clear instructions from you.  And your Kids Protection Plan® will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone who is chosen by a Judge who doesn’t know you.

Planning for Everyone You Love and Everything You Have

Do you know what would happen legally-  to you, your loved ones, your money – if something unexpected happened to you?

Even if you don’t have an estate plan, the state of Texas has a plan for you.

iStock_000019694000XSmall.jpg

Do you know what the people you love would have to deal with if something unexpected happens to you? If you don’t know, then the first step is to find out exactly what would happen, legally and financially, so that you can decide if the current state of your affairs is okay with you.

To do this, we conduct a Planning Session, where we spend time together and you’ll get informed.  Before your Planning Session, you will complete an Inventory and Assessment, which will help you to get clear about what you own and what you have to think about when it comes to planning for the well-being and care of your loved ones and loved belongings. If you decide the current state of affairs is unacceptable, and if we both decide that it’s a fit to work together, then we can design an estate plan together that will best suit the needs of your family.

The foundation of your estate plan will often include a revocable living trust is that; you transfer your property into this trust for your benefit during your life.  One of the benefits of a revocable living trust is that when done correctly and maintained over time, your estate plan should help your family to avoid the cost and delay of probate and minimize or eliminate estate taxes.

For people with additional needs, we provide advanced estate planning services.

Unfortunately, most plans don’t work because much of what passes for estate planning is little more than word processing. You are asked a few questions and then the drafter decides which “plan” is right for you, and fits you into a template. This is not estate planning; it is little more than a “search and replace” of your family’s name and then a hit of the “print” button which spits out form documents.

We will help you, take the time to get to know you, your family, your concerns, your goals and your issues and will gladly and patiently answer all your questions to produce an estate plan that is exactly right for you.

If you are a family with young children, then your estate plan should begin with a foundation that ensures your children would always be taken care of, no matter what happens.  One of our areas of greatest expertise is protecting minor children.

What Would Happen to Your Kids if the Unthinkable Happened to You?

Did you know that 69% of parents have not yet named guardians for their kids?

Of those who have, most have made one of 6 common mistakes most parents (and their lawyers!) make when naming guardians.

Don’t let this happen to your family!

Get the inside scoop on protecting your children.

Without proper planning, if the unthinkable happens to you, here’s what could happen:

  1. Your children could be placed into Child Protective Services(CPS) even if you have a will in place; even if you have a living trust.

  2. A Judge who doesn’t know you, or your family, will decide who will raise your kids, even if it’s the last person you would ever want;

  3. Approximately 5% of the total value of your assets could be lost due to probate, a court process that can tie up your assets for months or years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably;

  4. When your kids turn 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left;

  5. There are unscrupulous people who make it their business to review public records to find out what 18-year-olds are coming into money;

  6. The vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues and do not plan from a parent’s perspective.

If you are a family with young children, then your estate plan should begin with a foundation that ensures your children would always be taken care of no matter what happens. One of our areas of expertise is protecting minor children.

We have developed our practice to ensure these things don’t happen!  That’s why we offer plans for protecting kids with every estate plan we do for families with young children.

Asset Protection Planning

Nobody expects to be sued. Just ask the 20 million people involved in lawsuits last year.

Divorce, inheritance, health issues, creditors, employees, theft, changing markets, malpractice suits, sexual harassment claims, natural disasters and disgruntled business partners are just a few issues that can result in devastating lawsuits for unprepared business owners. The highest level of risk falls on those who think they are immune.

Americans are now more concerned than ever about protecting their assets from creditor claims, taxes and disasters. Will you be signing loan documents, a personal guaranty or a lease? Do you have rental properties or employees? Are you an attorney or physician? Do you work in construction or perform professional services? Do you have children from a prior marriage? Smart asset ownership structures can protect you and your business against subsequent creditor enforcement actions. Hiring Johnson Law Firm PLLC to design your asset protection plan could be the difference between reaching your financial goals and losing everything!

We assist our clients in determining the appropriate level of asset protection planning for their particular circumstances. We will consider insurance, prenuptial agreements, asset segregation, choice of jurisdiction, gifting, LLCs, partnerships, corporations, Family Limited partnerships, and asset protection trusts. Customized combinations are layered depending on the needs of the client and as appropriate.

There are many different strategies to accomplish the protection of your assets while you are alive and after you are gone. To find out which strategies may be right for you, contact us for a Family Wealth Planning Meeting.

How to Get Started With Planning for Your Financial Future

By now you’ve seen that our firm is something special and because you love your family, you know your family deserves the kind of protection, guidance, and love we provide for a lifetime. It’s important that you know how we work because we do things a bit differently here than at other law firms. That’s why our clients love us so much.

Schedule Your Wealth Planning Session

Call our office at 214-834-1751 to schedule your Wealth Planning Session. We will schedule the most convenient appointment time available for you with one of our expertly trained Family Lawyers. We see clients on Monday through Friday (and we even have evening or weekend appointments available) to make planning as convenient for you as possible.

When you schedule your Wealth Planning Session, we block 2 hours on our calendar so we can focus entirely on you and your family during this time.  We will send you a package of information to complete before our time together, which will help you begin the process of getting your legal and financial life in order.  During our meeting together, we will guide you to gently look at what would happen to your loved ones and with your assets if something were to happen to you.  And then, we’ll look at what you want to happen and help you create a roadmap to get that plan in place as easily as possible.  Clients routinely say “wow, if we had known how easy this would be, we would have done it years ago!” after meeting with us.

Our Wealth Planning Session is $750 and if we create a comprehensive plan for you, that planning fee is applied to your legal fees for your lifetime estate plan.  In some circumstances, we will waive the planning session fee and instead you can secure your appointment time with a credit card number.

In such cases, so long as you keep your appointment, nothing will be charged on your card unless you decide to proceed with a comprehensive estate plan after the Wealth Planning Session.  In such a situation, if you must cancel within 1 week of your appointment, your credit card will still not be charged unless you fail to reschedule your appointment within 30 days of your cancellation. If you cannot keep your appointment and you choose not to reschedule, your credit card would be charged the $750 planning fee.

We understand that this policy of securing your appointment with a credit card may seem unique. So is our law firm. We provide our very best service to those families who are looking for a long-term relationship with their trusted advisor. We expend most of our energy providing an exceedingly high degree of service to our existing clients and limit the number of new clients we see each week. We only take referrals from trusted Professional Planning Partners. As a result, we must secure your appointment time so that if something comes up and you can’t attend your appointment, we will have enough advance notice to open the slot to a waiting family.

What to Do Prior to Your Wealth Planning Session

About 3 days after scheduling your appointment, you will receive a Mailer with your Wealth Inventory & Assessment and other important information that you will want to review prior to your Wealth Planning Session. We must have your Wealth Inventory & Assessment returned to our office 3 days prior to your Session either by mail, fax or electronic mail or we will need to reschedule your Session. Feel free to call the office at any time if you need assistance completing your worksheet or have any questions at all.

If you have existing estate planning documents, please make sure that we have your existing documents in our office at least a week before your meeting so that we can review them prior to meeting with you.

What to Expect the Day of Your Wealth Planning Session

On the day of your meeting, please expect to spend up to 2 hours with your attorney. The initial meeting with your attorney has two purposes:

To identify whether there is a good fit between you and the attorney who will become your Personal Family Lawyer and…

To educate you about the law and what would happen if you died with your current (or no) plan in place.

By looking at what would happen under your current plan, you can identify what you would want to happen differently and then together with your Personal Family Lawyer’s guidance make the decisions that are necessary to give you the peace of mind of knowing your family would be taken care of in the way you want if something happened to you.

Assuming that you and your attorney determine that there is a good fit between our firm and your family AND that you identify specific ways you would want things to happen that are different than what would happen if something happened to you, you and your Personal Family Lawyer or Family Business Lawyer can design a plan for your family right away.

What Happens Next?

Once you and your Family Lawyer have completed the design of your plan, you will meet with our plan coordinator who will review your assets for the purpose of ensuring that everything you own will be titled for maximum protection and then schedule a meeting for you to sign your planning documents approximately 4 weeks later.

We have a process of reviewing your documents with you that makes your plan so easy to understand that you will know for certain that we understood exactly the way you want things to happen when something happens to you and that your loved ones will be in excellent hands with our firm. Once you sign your planning documents, your assets and your family are protected as discussed during your design meeting.

We see that as only the beginning of our relationship. You may make changes to your planning documents at no charge for up to 90 days after you sign your documents.

At our final meeting during the planning stage of our relationship, we verify that all of your asset transfers are moving forward on track whether we are taking the lead or you are taking the lead with our guidance. We review your asset spreadsheet with you and ensure all of your questions are answered. Of course, if they aren’t or they become cloudy later on, we are always available to answer your questions at any time in the future. And, there’s no charge for that.

What Happens After I Sign My Estate Planning Documents and Take Them Home?

After the planning phase is complete, the maintenance phase of your plan will begin. At no additional charge, we review your plan at least every three years and keep you informed about changes in the law and about other issues that affect your family and your wealth. And, if you participate in one of our Family Wealth VIP Membership programs, you will have an opportunity to review your plan on an annual basis, and we will provide your family with a number of other valuable services.

Call us today to learn about the Membership Programs. Finally, we are always here for you and we don’t charge you for phone calls, faxes, or emails. We welcome your communications!

You’ll be amazed at how easy and painless the entire planning process will be for your family.

Call us today! 214-834-1751

Our Planning Process

We know, beginning your estate plan is a big step.  So our process is designed to ensure your confidence in the planning process each step of the way.  Every decision is carefully reviewed with you and yet the entire process doesn’t stretch out beyond 8 weeks, so you know that within a single month after meeting with Texas Family Business Lawyers, your family could be totally protected.

It’s the perfect combination of efficiency and warmth.

The planning process itself begins with an initial meeting that is an opportunity for you to meet with us, so we can each can determine whether there is a good fit between you and our firm.

During this initial meeting, we will walk you through exactly what your loved ones would have to do and where your assets would go if something happened to you.

You will then be able to determine if there was anything about your current plan (or the state’s plan for you) that you wouldn’t like and you’ll get clear on what you would want to happen if something happened to you.

Assuming there is a good fit between you and our firm, we will help you to choose the planning level and fee that is right for your family (we have three different planning levels to accommodate your needs – our fees begin at $2,000 and they are all-inclusive, so there are no surprises) and you and {Your First Name} will then design a plan that will give you the peace of mind of knowing your family will be taken care of in the event the unthinkable happens.

Sometimes, depending on the level of planning you choose and the complexity of your situation, a second design meeting is needed or a Whole Family Wealth Audit meeting is offered to review your more complex financial matters.

Once your plan has been designed to your satisfaction, you will return to our office about 4-6 weeks later to sign your planning documents.  At this point, your family and your assets will be totally protected in the case of your death or incapacity.

In most law firms, the relationship ends there.

But we see the signing of these documents as the beginning of our relationship with your family. This is where our law firm is very different.

After you sign your legal documents, we don’t just send you on your way and wish you luck for the future.  Instead, we create an electronic record of all of your legal documents so you can easily access them anytime you need to in the future and then schedule a legacy meeting with you.  This is one of the most important meetings of our process because it’s where we:

1)  ensure your assets are all owned in the right way (you can have the best set of legal documents, but if your assets are not owned in the right way, it’s all been a waste);

2)  make sure everyone you’ve named to take care of your kids, the money you are leaving behind or you, if you cannot care for yourself, knows just what to do, if and when something happens;

3)  capture and plan for your intangible assets – the values, insights, stories, and experiences – you would never want to be lost.

And this is where we make sure you understand everything we’ve put in place for you and your family.

Then, we still aren’t done!

We meet with you at least every three years to review your plan and make sure it stays up to date.  If that’s not included in the planning you are doing, the set of documents you get are very unlikely to work when your family needs them.

Wealth Inventory & Assessment Worksheet

The Wealth Inventory and Assessment is designed to help you focus in on the important information and questions that are necessary to get your legal and financial house in order.

We ask you to fill it out and return it to us in advance of our appointment so that we can have the most productive time together.

  • Print the Wealth Inventory & Assessment worksheet.
  • Fill in as much as you can.
  • Make an appointment with us to discuss your plan.
  • Return the Wealth Inventory & Assessment worksheet to us at least 3 days in advance of our appointment.
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE