When Complex Estate Planning and Trusts Become Necessary

Estate Planning in Texas

When considering estate planning, it's essential to understand who truly needs complex instruments like living trusts. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of individuals do not require extensive estate planning. For most Texans, a straightforward will and basic powers of attorney are sufficient to ensure their assets are managed and distributed according to their wishes.

When Do You Need Complex Estate Planning?

While every individual's situation is unique, complex estate planning is generally necessary only under specific circumstances:

  • High Net Worth Individuals: If you are single and have over $13.61 million in assets or if you are married with over $25.84 million in assets, you might benefit from more sophisticated estate planning to address potential estate taxes and other issues.

  • Special Family Situations: In cases where there are blended families, special needs dependents, or a predisposition to incapacity, more advanced planning might be necessary to ensure that all family members are provided for and that assets are managed appropriately.


Basic Estate Planning for Most Texans

For the vast majority of people, especially those without extraordinarily high-value estates, a simple will and basic powers of attorney are typically sufficient. Texas has a relatively straightforward and efficient probate process, making it unnecessary for most people to set up living trusts.

Essential Estate Planning Documents:

  1. Will: This document specifies how your assets will be distributed upon your death. A basic will is sufficient for many people and ensures that your estate goes through Texas's simple probate process, which typically takes about 60 days.
  2. Medical Power of Attorney: This allows you to designate someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. It's crucial to have this document to ensure your medical wishes are followed when you can't communicate them yourself.
  3. Statutory Durable Power of Attorney: This document designates someone to handle your financial matters if you are incapacitated. It ensures that your financial affairs are managed according to your wishes without the need for court intervention.

Affordability and Accessibility

Estate planning in Texas is relatively affordable. You can get a will and basic powers of attorney starting at around $1,000. This investment provides peace of mind that your affairs will be handled according to your wishes and that your loved ones will be spared unnecessary complications and expenses.


For most Texans, comprehensive estate planning involving living trusts is not necessary. A will and basic powers of attorney suffice to ensure your estate is managed and distributed as you intend. However, individuals with substantial assets or special family circumstances should consult with an estate planning attorney to determine the best course of action.

All information provided on Silblawfirm.com (hereinafter "website") is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be used for legal advice. Users of this website should not take any actions or refrain from taking any actions based upon content or information on this website. Users of this site should contact a licensed Texas attorney for a full and complete review of their legal issues.