Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year?
If so, have you kept it so far? Really?

According to the Huffington Post, only 8% of folks actually keep their New Year’s resolutions, so if you’ve already slipped, you’re not alone.
There are several reasons why people fail to keep their resolutions. Many set overly ambitious and restrictive goals. Others have unrealistic expectations. Still others don’t even make an effort.
While it’s wise to eat healthy foods, exercise more, and create a budget, making an estate plan is a task that will pay dividends in 2018 and well beyond. Let’s consider that and some other legal resolutions that are fairly easy to keep and can be a significant benefit in your future and that of your family.

Creating an Estate Plan

Everyone should have an estate plan. Period.
Estate planning is critical to providing care for your family who depend on you, and if you want to leave a legacy when you pass away. At the bare minimum, you should ask Texas attorney Pamela Hailey-Petty to draft these documents:

  • A last will and testament to dispose of your property the way you want;
  • Powers of attorney in the event you become incapacitated; and
  • A living will or a healthcare directive that provides end of life care directions.

In addition, ask Hailey-Petty whether a revocable trust is appropriate for your situation. A trust can help manage your assets. It’s created by the grantor and provides specific instructions on how the trust is to operate, what it’s to accomplish, and how and when to do it. There are several benefits to trusts, one of which is avoiding probate.

Business Creation or Organization

If you’re a small business owner, here’s an easy resolution to keep this year: setting up your business correctly and reviewing its tax status. Along with this, you should resolve to have your attorney review any leases and vendor agreements before you sign.

With the new tax laws that have just been enacted, you should determine if your business is organized in the best way to take full advantage of the recent tax law changes. Attorney Hailey-Petty’s knowledge of business law allows her to guide business owners throughout the creation and operation.

Business Succession Planning

Another important New Year’s resolution is proper succession planning. This may include selling your business interest for cash or other assets.

You may want to pass the business to a trusted employee. That will mean transferring your business interest with Buy-Sell Agreement. That’s a legal contract that pre-arranges the sale of your business in the event of your retirement, divorce, disability, or death with the buyer obligated to buy your interest at fair market value at the time of the triggering event.

In addition, a Family Limited Partnership can help when transferring business interests to family members.
As you can see, there are several ways to plan for your business’ future. Attorney Hailey-Petty’s knowledge of business law will help you determine the best plan and ensure that everything is in place for the hand-off of your company.

Other Legal Issues

There are plenty of common legal issues that arise in the course of a year. A great New Year’s resolution is to pledge to contact Pamela with any questions. For example, if you’re getting married, you may want to consider a premarital agreement to protect your assets or business. A clearly defined plan in a premarital agreement is not only useful for when the marriage ends in divorce; it also deals with how assets are to be handled in probate.

Contact Us

Don’t delay making a commitment to benefit of what you love most. Protect your family, yourself, your business, and your property.

If you have questions about any or all of these important resolutions, speak with Texas attorney Pamela Hailey-Petty by contacting the Hailey-Petty Law Firm in Austin at (512) 253-7555 or email pam@haileypettylaw.com.

Pamela can help you with any follow-up concerns you have and make sure your estate plan is effective and comprehensive for your sake as well as your family’s.

Your future is our business.