Estate Planning Attorneys Fighting For Your Rights

Southlake Estate Planning Attorneys

Comprehensive Services Including Wills, Trusts & Probate Administration

No one knows what the future holds. We do not know if we will become incapacitated by illness or injury. We do not know if we’ll face a lawsuit that threatens to take our property. We never have an advance warning that we’ll leave minor children unexpectedly parentless.

While the scenarios are difficult to think about, facing them without being prepared is far more painful for everyone involved.

At the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, our Southlake attorneys help clients build an estate plan based on their identified goals.

The Need for Estate Planning in Southlake

Some Texans think an estate plan is only needed by millionaires with multiple homes and tremendous property to pass down to heirs. The wealthy certainly need a strong estate plan, but they are not alone. Most people would benefit from having one or more estate planning documents to protect their interests and those of their loved ones.

Your estate includes everything you own:

  • Checking accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Homes
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture, jewelry, and other personal possessions

We approach each estate plan client with inventorying the estate and analyzing how to best insulate your possessions from possible creditors or lawsuits. In addition, we evaluate how to minimize any taxes or other burdens that would befall your heirs when you pass away. We aim to streamline how quickly your beneficiaries receive what you have designated for them.

Common Estate Planning Tools

Our skilled attorneys can determine which tools will meet your goals. There are many legal documents that can provide peace of mind about the future.

  • Wills: If you die without a will, the state’s intestate succession laws determine how your property will be distributed. Have a voice in what happens with your property by creating a will. Having this legal document can also help reduce if not eliminate fights over your things among heirs. If you have minor children, a will enables you can designate a guardian you trust to continue raising your children.
  • Trusts: A trust offers more protection than a will alone. Different types of trusts are available, depending on the client’s goals. A living trust allows heirs to receive their inheritance without having to through probate. The assets are also generally protected from many creditors. The trust creator names someone to be the trustee – the person tasked with distributing the estate upon the trust creator’s death. Special trusts can be created to care for disabled children and even pets. Other trusts serve the purpose of keeping the creator eligible for Medicaid long-term care benefits. Revocable trusts can be changed. Irrevocable trusts cannot be altered.
  • Powers of Attorney: Like trusts, different powers of attorney serve specific purposes. A medical power of attorney gives the named agent the authority to make decisions about your medical treatment if you become incapacitated. A financial or statutory power of attorney can handle your financial affairs when you cannot do so. This person has the power to pay your bills, make bank deposits, and sell your real estate. You can revoke the power of attorney. If you have no power of attorney and become incapacitated, a guardian (possibly someone you don’t even know) might be assigned by the court.

Probate and Trust Administration

A trustee (named in a trust) or an executor (named in a will) has tremendous responsibilities after the death of their loved one. Trustees and executors have legal obligations that must be fulfilled or face lawsuits and even possible criminal penalties.

Our estate planning attorneys in Southlake will ensure legal requirements are satisfied:

  • File the will in probate court
  • Identify beneficiaries of a trust/will
  • Inventory assets
  • Protect trust property
  • Transfer property titles
  • Pay taxes
  • Settle debts

Most trustees and executors have jobs and families that still require their attention. At the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, our administration services make it possible for these responsible parties to focus on healing from their loss and managing everyday duties.

Effective Estate Planning for Southlake

It is never too soon to create an estate plan that works for you and your family. As your life changes over the years – the birth of children, divorce, new job – you can adjust your plan for your updated needs. If you have an estate plan but have not reviewed it in several years, it is time to evaluate whether adjustments should be made. We can help.

Schedule a consultation to discuss your estate planning needs. Reach us online or call (817) 497-8148.

Meet Our Team 

Dedicated Legal Professionals
  • Mark M. Childress
  • Desiree A. Hartwigsen
  • Sarah E. Robbins
  • Melissa S. Mozingo
  • Kristie M. Falbo
  • Rick J. Mitchell
  • Brenda L. Colon
  • Jordan P. Alvarez
  • Megan M. Weiershausen
  • Amie M. Wilson
  • Melisssa Hernandez
  • Tiffany Y. Washington
  • Mark M. Childress Mark M. Childress

    Founding Attorney

    Award-Winning Fort Worth Divorce Attorney Attorney Mark M. Childress For over two decades, our founding attorney has taken ...
    Mark M. Childress Photo
  • Desiree A. Hartwigsen Desiree A. Hartwigsen

    Managing Attorney

    Desiree A. Hartwigsen grew up in Stephenville, Texas where she graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. During her time at Tarleton, Desiree studied abroad in London, England at Queen Mary’s University where she studied Comparative Criminal Justice.
    Desiree A. Hartwigsen Photo
  • Sarah E. Robbins Sarah E. Robbins

    Senior Lead Litigator, Attorney

    Sarah E. Robbins is the newest member of the team at the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC. She was born and raised in Colorado where she graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a minor in communications. After a visit to her uncle’s law office at the age of six, Sarah decided to follow in her uncle’s footsteps and become a lawyer.
    Sarah E. Robbins Photo
  • Melissa S. Mozingo Melissa S. Mozingo

    Senior Lead Litigator, Attorney

    Fort Worth Family Law & Divorce Lawyer Attorney Melissa S. Mozingo After working as a legal assistant for a year, Melissa S. ...
    Melissa S. Mozingo Photo
  • Kristie M. Falbo Kristie M. Falbo

    Senior Lead Litigator, Attorney

    Fort Worth Family Law & Divorce Lawyer Attorney Kristie M. Falbo Kristie M. Falbo is a Houston native who worked as a ...
    Kristie M. Falbo Photo
  • Rick J. Mitchell Rick J. Mitchell

    Senior Lead Litigator, Attorney

    Accomplished Personal Injury Attorney in Fort Worth Attorney Rick J. Mitchell Rick J. Mitchell earned his J.D. from the ...
    Rick J. Mitchell Photo
  • Brenda L. Colon Brenda L. Colon

    Senior Lead Litigator, Attorney

    Family Law & Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth Attorney Brenda L. Colon Brenda L. Colon is originally from San Juan, Puerto ...
    Brenda L. Colon Photo
  • Jordan P. Alvarez Jordan P. Alvarez

    Associate Attorney

    Experienced Family Law Attorney in Fort Worth Attorney Jordan P. Alvarez Jordan P. Alvarez was born in Fort Worth, Texas. She ...
    Jordan P. Alvarez Photo
  • Megan M. Weiershausen Megan M. Weiershausen

    Lead Litigator, Attorney

    Family Lawyer in Fort Worth, TX Attorney Megan M. Weiershausen Megan M. Weiershausen grew up in Aledo, Texas. After ...
  • Amie M. Wilson Amie M. Wilson

    Senior Paralegal

    Amie began working in family law as a receptionist in a small private practice where she was tasked with answering the telephone, corresponding with clients and court staff and handling a multitude of other administrative duties. Amie’s ability to multitask and her attention to detail lead her to be tasked with handling an overflow of paralegal work.
    Amie M. Wilson Photo
  • Melisssa Hernandez Melisssa Hernandez

    Paralegal

    Experienced Family Law Paralegal in Fort Worth Melissa Hernandez Our firm is proud to have Melissa Hernandez on our team of ...
    Melisssa  Hernandez Photo
  • Tiffany Y. Washington Tiffany Y. Washington

    Office Administrator

    Tiffany Y. Washington Office Administrator at the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress Our firm is thankful to have Tiffany Y. ...
    Tiffany Y. Washington Photo

Why Choose Us for Your Family Matters?

  • Direct Access To Your Attorney

    Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need. 

  • Transparency

    Honesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.

  • Team Oriented

    At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.

  • Personalized Approach

    Our team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.

  • Top 10 Family Law Award 2022 - Attorney and Practice Magazine
  • Top Attorney Award winner at Attorney.com
  • Martindale-Hubbell Client Champion Award
  • Top 3 Divorce Lawyers in Fort Worth - Three Best Rated
  • Top Attorneys
  • 360 West Top Attorneys
  • Best Divorce Lawyers in Fort Worth - Expertise 2020
  • Fort Worth Texas City Magazine - Top Attorneys
  • Rated by Super Lawyers - Rising Stars
  • Top 10 Business - Thervo
  • Client Champion 2020- Martindale Hubbell
  • Top Attorneys 2020 Rated by Fort Worth Magazine
  • Top Attorneys 2020 - Rated by 360 West Magazine
  • Best Divorce Lawyers in Fort Worth- Expertise 2021