Practice Areas

ESTATE PLANNING FOR ALL AGES & ALL STAGES

Nearly 80% of adults surveyed in a 2019 study by Caring.com and YouGov said that having a will or trust is very important or somewhat important. Yet less tha 37% or repondents actually have either document in place. (Source: https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/wills-survey)

Estate Planning consists of many things, and most people think of it merely as having in place any sort of will, trust, or power of attorney. It is actually so much more in-depth than that. Becoming educated through an entertaining educational workshop at our Learning Center, discussing your concerns and future goals with us in a complimentary follow-up meeting, and incorporating the guidance of your financial advisor will allow you to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets with a comprehensive, customized estate plan. 

Estate Planning Attorney Waco, TX

No matter what stage of adulthood and life you are in, there are protections and safeguards you should have in place.

  • Medical & Property Powers of Attorney
  • Guardianship for Minor Children or Special Needs Loved One
  • Protecting Your Assets from Litigation, Debt Collectors, Divorce and Nursing Home Costs
  • Providing safeguards for Heirs receiving an Inheritance
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Did you know that in Texas the average cost for nursing home care is over $6,500 per month, or more than $80,000 per year? And the government’s most recent National Nursing Home Survey showed that the average stay in a nursing home is 835 days! According to Longtermcare.gov an individual turning 65 now has a 70% chance of needing long term care, and 20% will need care for longer than five years!

The costs associated with long term care can be devastating to a family, wiping out a lifetime of hard-earned savings. But it does not need to by that way! Our Medicaid pre-planning system can: 

  •  Protect hundreds of thousands of dollars and more from having to be spent on Long Term Care
  • Give You Peace of Mind
  • Protect your financial nest-egg to passing on to your loved ones
  • Create a Positive Legacy through your estate and remove the burden of Probate for family members
Register now for an upcoming Workshop at our Learning Center and learn how you (or your loved ones) can get planning in place that will provide protection!
Nursing Home & Medicaid Pre-Planning
Medicaid Crisis Planning

One of the most difficult things in life is navigating the myriad of emotions associated with placing your spouse, parent, or another loved-one in a nursing home. Families often feel panicked, overwhelmed, and confused. The financial reality of the situation can add an unbelievable amount of pressure and frustration to the journey.

However, it is likely NOT too late! Steps can still be taken to protect and preserve assets and income, but it is critical that proper legal guidance is obtained from an attorney who knows how to look out for the interests of your loved one and his or her family.

While pre-planning is often the best course of action, if you’re in a crisis, do not wait! Contact us right away to learn how we can help you through this difficult process!

People have worked so hard to build and achieve their dream through the hard work, dedication, and determination that is required to own a small business or family farm operation. Always lurking in their minds, however are several significant questions:

  • How can I protect my farm or business while I’m alive?
  • How can I pass the farm or business on to the next generation after I’m gone?
  • I would like to be fair to all of my children, but does fair necessarily mean equal?

 

A well-designed estate plan can be the foundation for important protections while you’re living and it can also be the catalyst for passing the business or operation on to the next generation in the best possible manner. A succession plan will not work by mere chance or pure luck. Rather the continuity of what you have worked hard to build will occur as a result of your thoughtful consideration and thorough planning. Planning for incapacity or death isn’t just recommended. It’s required if your goal is to pass along the opportunity to continue what you’ve built and solidifying your legacy as a successful and caring provider.

Small Business and Farm & Ranch Planning
Planning for Incapacity

Can you imagine if you woke up tomorrow morning to a whole new world in which you could not communicate, you did not recognize your loved ones, and you were completely dependent upon others for your care? Or what if a terrible accident triggered this same outcome? It would be devastating on so many fronts, but even more so if you hadn’t taken the time to plan for your incapacity.

Who would: 

  • Make decisions for you about your care?
  • Pay your bills and access your accounts?
  • Communicate with insurance companies, and address so many other crucial matters?

 

In the absence of proper planning, a Guardianship proceeding would likely be required so the court could appoint someone (and quite possibly NOT the “someone” you would have chosen) to care for you.

The SECURE ACT has passed! We believe many clients will be significantly impacted by these new law changes. Among many other changes:

  • The Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Age was increased from 70 1/2 to 72. 
  • Now, the SECURE Act requires most non-spousal beneficiaries to withdraw 100% of the inherited IRA over a 10-year period (eliminating the stretch provision that was previously in place)
  • If you are over the age of 70 1/2 and have earned income, you can continue to contribute to your traditional IRA. If you have concerns about the potential consequences surrounding your heirs receiving an IRA inheritance much more quickly because of the SECURE ACT, we can make adjustments to your estate plan to address those concerns
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Contact us today to discuss this and other concerns you may have about Estate Planning.

Secure Act
Special Needs Planning

As parents blessed with a Special Needs child, Mike and Sara Burgett have a special place in their hearts for similarly situated families who also face many of the unique challenges and opportunities that they have encountered. Customizing an Estate Plan and taking measures to protect your Special Needs family member is important.

Did you know: 

  • Receiving an inheritance may disqualify a person with Special Needs from the services they receive?
  • There are ways to set up a Guardianship succession plan without court involvement and a Trustee to supervise finances after a caregiver is gone?

 

Generous and good intentions can have very costly consequences if they are not properly structured. 

Contact Burgett Law Firm today to help you make certain those mistakes are avoided and that your Special Needs loved one is care for in the best possible way!

If you find yourself named as a personal representative or trustee in the estate plan of a loved one, you may be facing confusion and uncertainty about the processes for administrating the estate. Our firm will give you confidence about your role. Knowing what to expect and how to proceed will provide you peace of mind and protect you from making potentially costly mistakes. It can also give you certainty that you will carry out the final wishes of your loved one exactly the way they had planned.

Probate is the administrative process that involves the court and typically will take one of two paths: it can either be handled through a process called independent administration where the court has limited involvement, or it can be handled through dependent administration which involves the court supervising most aspects of the process.

Trusts, on the other hand, do not involve the courts. During administration, the trustee is responsible for managing (and possibly distributing) the trust assets for the trust beneficiaries in the manner prescribed by the terms of the trust. Among other benefits, trust administration is completely private – there is no opportunity for individuals not associated with the trust to know what assets are held by the trust, who (or what) benefits from them, or any of the trust terms.  Of course, there still can be disputes that arise during trust administration, but a well-drafted trust agreement will avoid most of them and will also provide mechanisms for resolving issues outside of formal litigation and court involvement.

Please contact us if we can help you navigate administration of an estate. We’ll be happy to provide you with a complimentary no-obligation consultation to discuss your matter.

Trust Administration & Probate