In addition to working on the legal needs of a client’s business, I also offer services for my client’s personal legal matters. Having one law firm handle both business and personal matters provides several advantages for my clients
- It’s convenient and efficient for them to have a “one-stop” law firm.
- By working with clients on both their personal and business matters, I am able to offer a holistic approach, taking advantage of synergies between the two.
The more I know about my clients, and the longer-term the relationships I forge with them, the better I am able to serve them.
Real Estate Transactions
The selection of a home is one of the most significant decisions you will make, both for your personal finances and for the future happiness of your family. Whether they are buying, selling, or leasing a home or investment property in Texas, I work with my clients through every step of the process.
My services include drafting and negotiating real estate documents such as:
- Listing agreements
- Earnest money contracts; assignments and amendments of same
- Design, architect, and construction contracts
- Easements, lien affidavits, waivers and releases
- Seller financing documents, including real estate lien notes; deeds of trust; collateral assignments of rents and leases; loan agreements; subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreements, etc.
- Leases, subleases, options to renew or buy, etc.
- Deeds and bills of sale
- Other documents as needed or requested
My services include review and advice on documents prepared by other participants involved in the transaction. This may also involve negotiating or interacting with those parties. Some examples of these documents include:
- Appraisals, Property Inspection Reports
- Deed restrictions
- Title commitments and the recorded instruments described in the commitment
- Title company closing documents
- Loan documents (consent letter may be required)
- Title policies
- Tax forms and disclosures as appropriate
- Other documents as needed or requested
There are tax consequences to the way a transaction is structured, and I can help identify and plan for the tax issues involved in the transaction.
I approach each real estate transaction as an advocate for client, with no vested interest in the outcome. The advice I give is with my client’s best interest in mind; I won’t sugar coat a problem in the hopes of getting my client to close on the deal. I’ll give my professional opinion on issues as they arise and are identified.
Marital Property Agreements
Texas law defines the rights and obligations of spouses in connection with the property they own. It also allows couples to redefine many of those rights and obligations through the use of marital property agreements. Texas allows both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. My practice concentrates on the drafting of postnuptial agreements.
Postnuptial agreements can be helpful in a variety of contexts. For instance, they can assist couples in their tax planning, estate planning, or to help resolve friction between them.
Wills, Trusts, Estates & Ancillary Documents
Proper estate planning is essential to ensure that your wishes are carried out the way you intended. Everyone’s situation is unique, and a “one-size-fits-all” plan will not be adequate. The well-being of your loved ones and other beneficiaries is too important to leave to chance.
I work with my clients to address their estate-planning needs. Many people put off planning their estates, but taking care of it sooner rather than later can bring tremendous peace of mind not just to my clients, but to their loved ones as well.
Documents included in most estate plans include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Will (simple or with trusts and/or tax planning features)
- Appointment of Guardian (for you; and for your children)
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Directive to Physicians
- HIPPA Privacy Authorization
- Grantor Trust
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
- Transfer on Death Deed
- Affidavits as needed
- Marital Property Agreement when appropriate
- Instruction letters to clients, financial institutions, and others
- Funeral Instructions
- Family Limited Partnership
I also prepare gift and estate tax returns.
My Roman Catholic faith informs my approach to providing legal services. In morally sensitive legal areas, such as the use of Directives to Physicians, I have designed legal forms to comply with the teachings of the Catholic Church and the United States Council of Catholic Bishops for those who wish to use them.
Planning for tax consequences is a crucial aspect of estate planning. My experience as a public accountant combined with my experience as an attorney gives me unique insights into how to best structure estates to minimize the impact of taxes. My experience in legal practice and public accounting helps to facilitate efficient communication with your financial planner and CPA – I speak their language!
Tax Planning & Preparation
Foresight is crucial when it comes to taxes. Proper tax planning can save you both money and time. Every client has different needs, and I will work with you to produce a plan that fits your individual financial situation.
In addition to practicing law for over 25 years, I have been preparing my clients’ tax returns since I was a junior in college. I prepare federal, state, and municipal income and other tax returns. As an Authorized IRS e-File Provider, I can assist you in filing your returns electronically when e-filing is offered by the applicable taxing authority.