Preserving Family Wealth for Generations

info@voellerlaw.com

(210) 651-3851

19311 FM 2252 Suite 103, San Antonio, Texas 78266

Using a Gun Trust to Pass on Firearms

When properly prepared and executed by a knowledgeable legal team, a gun trust is extremely beneficial to those that own firearms. It provides a safe, responsible method for transferring your firearms to your heirs without fear of criminal liability, future government regulation or the threat of confiscation due to divorce, lawsuits or bankruptcy.

This specialized trust is specifically designed to hold ownership of firearms and can help executors avoid violating criminal gun laws.

There is a multitude of benefits from creating a legal gun trust that includes:

  1. The ability to transmit firearms to future generations
  2. Allows for multiple trustees that can last for more than one generation
  3. Provides for the prevention of felonies and fines for the executor of the estate
  4. Avoids probate upon death
  5. Privacy is enhanced since the firearm passes on to the beneficiaries outside of the probate process and the trust property will not be listed in the public probate court records
  6. In a gun trust, the transfer of the firearm to any beneficiary of the estate may be made on a tax-exempt basis

Gun trusts have more than doubled in the last four years, according to the New York Times to more than 39,000 just five years ago.

Experience Counts

As a founding member of GunDocx Lawyers, the Voeller Law Firm is uniquely qualified to guide you through a gun trust. We will carefully navigate the process of putting pen to paper so you can eventually pass on a firearm with careful planning and consideration and avoid stiff penalties and fines.

Our San Antonio-based attorneys will develop a gun trust that allows for owning and transferring firearms in a way that will ensure you or your loved ones don’t end up inadvertently being accused of committing a felony.

By providing gun trusts that are highly recognized and accepted by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), we are able to provide a fast and streamlined method to owning National Firearms Act (NFA) regulated firearms.

To learn more call us today to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851 or log onto http://www.voellerlaw.com.

Protecting Future Generations

It is simply the most important thing you can do for the care of your family. It affects current and future generations and too often it is ignored.

“It” is estate planning. And studies show that 55% of Americans die without a will or estate plan, leaving their family members with unresolved financial, legal and emotional issues.

Myths and Truths

A common misconception is that estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy. But whether you have a mansion or rent an apartment, everyone has an “estate.” An estate is simply all your property, including bank accounts, vehicles, household goods and life insurance.

If you want your assets to go to a family member, you need estate planning.

If you want to ensure your children are properly looked after when you pass away, you need estate planning.

Quite simply, estate planning is actually lifetime planning.

Essential Tools: Wills, Living Wills, and Trusts

Estate planning involves a multitude of options.

A can help make the transition after a loss as painless as possible for your loved ones. It provides a written roadmap that allows you to express your financial wishes once you’re gone.

A living will expresses your health care preferences while you’re still alive, even if you become unable to communicate your wishes due to illness or incapacitation.

Trusts are another estate planning tool you can use to manage your property and avoid tax burdens. There are a number of different types of trusts serving a wide range of functions. For example, an asset protection trust is designed to protect a person’s assets from future creditors. A charitable trust, on the other hand, is used to benefit a particular charity or cause.

There is no need to be overwhelmed. The expert estate planning attorneys at Voeller Law Firm will work closely with you and your family to craft the optimum strategy for your property and possessions.

For over 35 years we have been preserving family wealth for future generations in the San Antonio and neighboring communities. We realize that proper estate planning is one of the greatest acts of love you can perform for your family.

Whether you decide on a will, a trust, or other legal document, we can provide personal attention and guidance. Laws for estate planning are always changing in Texas. Let us assist you in protecting your assets and legacy. Call our expert legal team at (210) 651-3851 to set up a free consultation.

The Law as We Age

There are basic estate planning considerations and documents every senior citizen ought to have reviewed and completed to help manage their estate when they pass away. Unfortunately, most older adults in San Antonio are not aware of these strategies. That is where a qualified Elder Law Attorney can help.

Many senior citizens in Texas rely on the combination of benefits from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Combining these in a way that they don’t conflict with one another is extremely complicated. Without any help, most people have a high risk of making costly mistakes which may affect their lifestyle.

There are a number of benefits to hiring an elder law attorney:

  1. Navigate Available Benefits
    Elder law attorneys are familiar with the public benefits that may pay for long-term care and senior housing such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits. These attorneys are also well versed in powers of attorneys, living wills, reverse mortgages and especially Medicaid planning. The process of qualifying for Medicaid to pay for the cost of long-term care is challenging. At the Voeller Law Firm, we are experienced Medicaid planning attorneys and provide comprehensive guidance in elder law.
  2. Provide Skillful Planning
    Lawyers who have expertise with maturing adults help protect seniors. They work to inform clients about the need to plan for long-term care needs. These legal experts develop strategies to handle such items as medical decisions and financial responsibility while protecting savings.
  3. Protect Assets
    Hiring a legal professional who understands the language of the law can help you or your loved one move forward in the right direction. At Voeller Law Firm, we are usually able to help married couples save up to 100% of their assets, and still get one spouse qualified for Medicaid. For single individuals, we can generally save their primary residence and about 55% of their liquid assets.
  4. Mediate Impartially
    Attorneys often work with families who are not on the same page about what is best for their elder family members in the areas of financial expenditures, living situations, and medical treatments. A lawyer can act as a mediator and problem-solver.

The Scope of the Law

Elder law issues go beyond the typical estate-planning issues,” stated James Voeller, an attorney with 35 years’ experience in these types of legal matters. “Our lawyers who focus on this area can help deal with long-term care planning, advance healthcare planning, guardianship issues, and more.”

Pre-planning and crisis planning are essential for maximum security as we age. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851 or log onto http://www.voellerlaw.com to learn more.

Caring Through Support Trusts

The challenge of caring for a disabled or special needs family member can be rewarding, but also exhausting financially and emotionally. There are legal methods for helping caretakers through this difficult time and ways to support the disabled loved one in the future.

Tools for Long-Term Support

Disability trusts are created for the purpose of caring for a disabled person in the event of their caretaker’s death.

Support trusts are designed to take care of basic needs. This type of trust requires the trustee to make distributions for necessities like food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and educational services. The “level of support” required is generally interpreted as the level to which the beneficiary is accustomed to.

In these cases, the trustee is the party who oversees the distribution of assets and funds. Trustees can be financial institutions, relatives, or neutral third parties. But whoever they are, they have a great deal of responsibility.

The support trust is an estate planning tool commonly used by parents who want to take care of their children after they pass away or become unable to care for their child.

One of the greatest benefits of the support trust is that the assets in the care of the trust cannot be taken by creditors. Even if the grantor of the trust owed money to someone else, the creditor cannot come after the assets in the trust. This ensures that the beneficiary will be taken care of in the future.

What Is Included

Both the Disability and Support Trusts are created to pay for essentials. In fact, if a beneficiary wants money for something that is considered a “luxury,” they may have to submit a request to the trustee to be reviewed and approved.

Beneficiaries of support trusts are not eligible to receive financial assistance through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. If your child will require SSI or Medicaid, you should avoid a support trust.

Setting up either a Disability or Support Trust is a convoluted process with an overwhelming amount of legal documents and filings.

If you are considering setting up a trust to care for your child in the future, contact us today to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851. Our San Antonio law firm has over 35 years of experience and we will work to preserve your family’s wealth for generations to follow.

Can Giving Back Benefit Your Estate?

Nothing feels as good as giving back. But in order to have control over where your donations are given as you pass away, you need legal counsel in charitable planning.

In May of this year, the Eagle newspaper reported that three brothers who hail from San Antonio, TX kicked off a cross-country bike journey. The “Brothers Bike” excursion will hopefully raise $500,000 for two charities they helped build.

These philanthropic men will likely want to make charitable giving a central component of their estate and provide donations not only in the present but also after they pass away. To fulfill this dream, they will want to consult legal counsel on charitable planning.

Supporting Charities

In the eyes of the law, charitable contributions are gifts made to organizations that have obtained non-profit 501(c)(3) tax status, such as educational institutions, religious organizations, government entities, and other charities.

It is not always a monetary donation that counts. A charitable contribution is anything that may be of value to a qualified charitable organization such as clothing, household items, cars, real estate, securities and other assets.

To claim the charitable contribution tax deduction, you must be in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. These are a key component of estate planning and can help avoid high taxation at the time a person passes away.

Many of our clients at Voeller Law Firm in San Antonio profit from our expertise on how to manage tax liability and charitable gifts to benefit their estate.

Charitable Trusts

Creating trusts to benefit charities can be a valuable tool. Typically, charitable trusts are established as part of an estate plan to lower or avoid estate and gift taxes.

“Our attorneys are dedicated to honoring the role that nonprofit organizations play in our city,” states David Voeller. “We have 35 years of experience helping families plan for their futures, strengthening our communities and safeguarding their assets.”

If you are passionate about charitable trusts and contributions and want to learn more about how they can help protect your assets, contact Voeller Law Firm. We will help you with your estate planning, define your charitable objectives and advise you on how to distribute some of your estate to a charity to minimize taxes while you support your favorite causes.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851 or log onto http://www.voellerlaw.com to learn more.

The Crucial Role of a Business Lawyer

For many business owners in the San Antonio and neighboring communities, working with a lawyer is a lower priority than staffing, marketing, and sales and is done only when there’s a problem.

However, smart companies focus on planning and preventing problems in advance. They make sure their businesses are protected against potential trouble by working with a business lawyer early in the process.

10 Reasons for Legal Counsel

A business lawyer plays a crucial role in the formation of a company, the sale of a business and everything in between. From the start of your business venture to the finish, having a specialized lawyer in your corner to offer countless services can make running your business go much more smoothly.

A business lawyer provides a variety of services.

  1. Determine and establish the best structure for your business whether it is a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership or corporation
  2. Assist in taxation issues
  3. Review and make recommendations on contracts ranging from leasing space to working with vendors
  4. Defend intellectual property such as a company’s name, logo, and distinctive goods and services
  5. Navigate the complex city compliance codes and assist in obtaining state licenses required
  6. In the event of a dispute, a business lawyer will help protect clients, go to arbitration or court if needed
  7. Assist in the collection of debts and the use of liens if additional collections actions are needed
  8. Provide legal counsel for the company if it goes public
  9. Provide guidance when owners retire, referred to as business succession, to help plan for the future and put the business in the best position for a profitable and smooth transition
  10. Facilitate full or partial sale of a business, handling both the financial aspects and the changes to the business formation

Quite simply, no business can afford not to hire a lawyer since attorneys are intimately involved in advising businesses on their legal rights, responsibilities, and obligations.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851 or log onto http://www.voellerlaw.com to learn more.

Avoiding the Burden of Probate

When you pass away, the last thing you want to do is create a messy probate situation for your heirs and beneficiaries.

Probate is the court-supervised process of sorting and administering a person’s will. Probate is the court proceeding where a judge validates a will, gives it legal approval, and designates the named executor with authority to administer a decedent’s estate.

Until probate takes place, an executor does not have any legal authority, and estate assets cannot be legally transferred.

While this process sounds simple, the probate process can take a lot of time and money, especially if the will is contested.

Simplifying the Probate Process

The experienced attorneys at the Voeller Law Firm can streamline the probate process to help you efficiently settle your loved one’s estate.

“It is essential to work with an experienced attorney in order to get through the probate process as smoothly as possible ,” said James Voeller, an experienced attorney who has been practicing for over 35 years. “Our goal is to provide the most accurate advice so our clients can be well informed and properly prepared. Our law firm can even suggest ways to avoid the probate process altogether.”

 

Avoiding Probate

The most common way to avoid probate is to set up a revocable trust for lifetime management of ones assets. Another method of probate avoidance is to use joint-ownership of assets with the people whom you want to inherit your property.

One obvious, but often overlooked way to avoid probate is to simply give your property away before your death. But even this requires planning and forethought under the guidance of legal counsel.

However, it’s important to note that a person can only gift another individual a specific amount before it’s subject to gift taxes.

We’re Here to Help

The qualified estate planning attorneys at the Voeller Law Firm will help you develop estate planning strategies that can skip the probate process, save expenses, minimize hours of administration, and eliminate potential family conflicts down the road.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851 and get started putting your estate planning strategies in place.

Understanding the Importance of Asset Protection

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San Antonio asset protection lawyers help both individual and business clients determine the best ways to avoid frivolous lawsuits and other threats to their lifetime of work and savings. These types of expert attorneys work to help people and companies avoid becoming the victims of groundless lawsuits.

Irresponsible lawsuits can happen to individuals or major organizations. An example was seen in the recent NBA playoffs when a San Antonio Spurs fan filed suit against the Golden State Warriors and player Zaza Pachulia for the injury to a top-rated Spurs player. A Texas judge denied the request, but a skilled attorney was required to get the lawsuit dismissed.

 

Benefits of a Lawyer

As you become more and more successful, your assets will continue to grow. You need to guard your assets from liability and from over taxing.

Proper asset protection requires careful legal planning for both your personal and business possessions and resources to put them beyond the reach of potential future threats, creditors and liabilities while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of those assets.

At the Voeller Law Firm, we understand both the advantages and disadvantages of using vehicles such as irrevocable trusts, limited liability companies, homestead exemptions, retirement plans,  and partnerships to protect your hard earned dollars. These methods must be employed legally and accurately to truly protect you.

Asset protection is one of the most complex areas to comprehend. To decide if an asset protection strategy will work for you, it is best to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney whose practice is focused on estate planning and wealth preservation.

At the Voeller Law Firm, we serve the greater San Antonio area and we can help you formulate plans, trusts, and business entities to avoid threats to your assets. The value of having an asset protection attorney is that you have a true professional who understands your situation and who will work to defend your hard earned possessions.

To learn more, contact us today to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851 and put our over 35 years of experience to work for you.