Elder law covers many different areas of the law, everything from guardianship to securing VA Aid and Attendance benefits. There are many things which can be done, some of them surprisingly simple and common sense, to ensure that the golden years are in fact golden. Ensuring that the elderly are legally protected and that they receive their just due is a passion of our office. We are proud to offer you our services so you can return the love and care which your elders showered on you.
Probate (And it doesn't have to be a nightmare)
Regardless of whether a loved one passes with or without a will, sometimes probate proceedings are necessary. Many think probate is a nightmare. But here in Texas, given the flexible and common sense law which developed because of our frontier heritage, probate is usually stream-lined, and often can be avoided altogether using techniques such as affidavits of heirship and small estate affidavits. If our office can help you avoid probate, we will. If not, we'll work to make the experience as quick and painless as possible. Nobody should go through this process alone while grieving a loved one. We find great satisfaction in assisting families in this area.
Election law covers areas such as campaign finance, ballot access, and constitutional law. Our office has been working at the highest national levels in election law for well over twenty years and is widely acknowledged to be one of the foremost authorities in the United States. We represent clients across the political spectrum and pride ourselves on our contributions to the functioning of our democratic republic.
Business law usually finds its way into estate planning and probate in one way or another. In planning, this often means properly setting-up and administering the legal needs of the business and creating a formal succession plan. Our office is well-versed in addressing such matters. Business lawyers are often accused of preparing for the divorce before the business marriage is even formalized, but that approach is necessary to protect what you've built. We'll make sure that the right organization is in place and governed properly to help insulate you from personal liability, and we'll help you develop a plan so that the issue of succession is covered so that your wishes are honored. We'll also audit your business agreements as needed, everything from letters of intent to buy/selll agreements, and devise and negotiate new agreements to make sure that your intent is clearly expressed. Our overarching goal is to minimize your risk so that you can maximize your profit.
Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Other Estate Planning
Many individuals don't realize how much time, money and family anguish can be saved with a few fairly simple and accurately expressed documents and techniques. Every adult should have an estate plan in place. A solid estate plan is the best way to avoid probate or minimize its expense and complications. Our office is skilled in working with you to develop a plan tailored to your circumstance and then expeditiously implementing the plan should the need arises.
I view litigation as a sometimes necessary last resort. American politician John Dingell once stated that "War is the failure of diplomacy". The view in our office is that litigation is the failure of interpersonal relations; however, sometimes such failure is unavoidable. We have litigated cases in many areas, some of which have been very contentious. Thus, if we come to this pass, you will be well-represented.
I think of myself as a small town lawyer in the big city. As I grow older, I increasingly view problems on less of a macro and more of an individual level. When I was younger I worked for governments, campaigns, non-profits, and other organizations which try to address societal issues in the aggregate. Now I choose to work in probate, and the areas to which it naturally relates, because I get to see first-hand the results of my work for individuals. The legal fields I work in, except perhaps election law, require a personal touch, because they deal with families and strong emotion. And because I have lived through many of the same types of legal problems my clients face, their stories resonate with me and I empathize with them. - - Matthew D. Sawyer