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Protect Assets And Plan Your Legacy

An Estate Planning And Probate Lawyer With Your Ultimate Goals In Mind

Over a lifetime, we develop careers, build homes, take care of our families and contribute to our communities. With a far-reaching legacy in mind, we become increasingly aware of the importance of planning beyond our lifetimes.

Estate Law Is About Life, People And Asset Protection

This is the essence of estate law as it applies both during our lifetimes and after death: estate planning and probate. Contrary to common notions, estate planning is about life. It is about sound financial planning and asset protection from one generation to the next.

A complete estate plan consists of more than a will. Other important elements include:

  • Designated guardianships for any minor children who may be living at the time of your death
  • Trusts that can protect assets and facilitate a smooth transfer of assets with no need to take them through probate
  • Powers of attorney and an advance health care directive spelling out your preferences in case you are unable to speak for yourself after an accident or near the end of your life

Rackley Law Firm in Helotes provides San Antonio-area clients the peace of mind that comes with an individualized, well-thought-out estate plan. You can feel confident that you have taken care of essential business while protecting assets for your family and/or favorite charitable causes in the future.

After The Death Of A Loved One

When a family member dies, you find yourself on the other side of the estate planning equation. Your parent, spouse, brother or sister, aunt or uncle or other relative or close friend may have named you the executor or personal representative of the estate. Rackley Law Firm can help you fulfill your duties correctly and take the estate through probate in a timely manner. In the event of a will contest or any estate-related dispute, Mr. Rackley is well-prepared to represent you while moving the issue toward a favorable resolution.

“Excellent service and attention to our needs. Rackley Law Firm was very thorough and covered all our concerns with constructing a will and last testament.” — Jose G. (actual estate planning client)

Drafting, Reviewing And Updating Wills And Trusts

Most people realize that everyone should have a will, but preparing a will is not necessarily a one-time event. You may already have a will and realize you need a lawyer to help you review it and update is as necessary. As a rule of thumb, Rackley Law Firm recommends reviewing your will about every six years or after any life change such as:

  • Moving from one state to another
  • Marriage
  • Birth or adoption of children
  • Divorce
  • Deaths, marriages or divorces that alter the structure of your extended family
  • Starting a business
  • Acquisition of wealth, such as through inheritance or investments

Whatever has prompted you to seek a Texas wills and trusts attorney, Rackley Law Firm is ready to help. Our goal is to help each client create a document that will withstand changes in family structure. If a will is done right, it should ideally last a lifetime.

Beginning with an initial consultation, attorney J. Caleb Rackley will get to know you in order to understand what is important to you and what you want to include in your will. Besides designating where assets should go after your death, a will can:

  • Name a personal representative or executor who will be responsible for administering your estate
  • Name your preferred guardians for your minor children, if applicable
  • Include a family trust, a revocable trust, an irrevocable trust or a special needs trust for the sake of asset protection and simplification of administration of your estate
  • Designate trustees to distribute assets in the trusts
  • Specify that proceedings of trusts intended for your children be managed until they come of age

People often want to set up trusts to keep assets out of probate. However, it often happens that the estate acquires assets that are not included in a trust. A pour-over will can take care of distribution of assets that have not been assigned to a trust.

To Prevent Will Contests — And What To Do In The Event Of A Will Contest

Ideally, your will should be clear and enforceable to prevent disputes after your death. Helping you craft a will that can stand up to any challenges is an important part of what we do at Rackley Law Firm. Your will should contain no ambiguity. It should ensure that all you’ve worked for over your lifetime will go to your loved ones or designated causes rather than to lawyers.

Nonetheless, you may find yourself a party to a will contest as a personal representative or beneficiary. Contested wills often reflect troublesome family dynamics and run the risk of greatly diminishing the value of estates. Rackley Law Firm can advise and represent you with the goal of arriving at a resolution sooner rather than later. We want to help you preserve assets rather than squander them through legal maneuvers.

“I came in to sign an updated Will and various other legal paperwork. Everything was ready to go, all of my questions were answered and the whole staff was attentive and easy to work with.” — Peter E. (actual estate planning client)

Learn More — Discuss Your Objectives And Concerns With An Experienced Estate Law Attorney In Helotes

Probate: Processes And Guidance

It is both a privilege and a responsibility to administer the estate of a deceased loved one. It can also seem like a complex and worrisome process. You can benefit greatly from an experienced lawyer’s advice and help as you seek to:

  • Honor the wishes of the deceased
  • Fulfill requirements of the probate court
  • Complete the probate and estate administration process cost-effectively
  • Ensure that assets are distributed correctly and in a timely manner
  • Carry out your duties without risk of disputes or unnecessary complications
  • Fulfill obligations related to your loved one’s end of life

Flat-Fee Probate Services

Rackley Law Firm in Helotes, Texas, provides peace of mind for personal representatives (executors of estates) and beneficiaries of estates. Probate law attorney J. Caleb Rackley and helpful staff of the firm are prepared to take care of all details of the probate on a flat-fee basis. Mr. Rackley will also advise you on related issues such as making claims on life insurance policies, filing a final income tax return for the deceased or selling real estate if necessary.

Our goal is to make your experience as easy, smooth and efficient as we can throughout the process of settling your loved one’s estate.

What About Potential Estate Litigation?

In the event of legal challenges such as disputes between beneficiaries or accusations from family members that you are not fulfilling your fiduciary duties faithfully, our goal will be to help you resolve such disputes in an expedited, practical manner. Will contests and other types of estate litigation rack up hourly attorneys’ fees and can quickly reduce the value of an estate. We do not favor the idea of costly estate litigation. We always try to help clients avoid disputes and when they arise, arrive at reasonable settlements or conclusions without delay or unnecessary expense.

“Very nice experience and professional. First time using Mr. Rackley, and everything went as planned.” — Marilyn Pearlman (actual client)