Estate Planning

Your estate plan should be designed to protect and preserve wealth for you and your loved ones might include a combination of the documents listed below.

  • Revocable Trust
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Wills
  • Dynasty Trusts
  • Generation Skipping Tax Exempt Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
  • Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts
  • Qualified Domestic Trusts

A complete estate plan also includes provisions for your pets, personal property and digital data. Often overlooked items include:

  • Gold and Silver
  • Firearms
  • Artwork
  • Collectibles
  • Family Photos and Keepsakes
  • Social Networking Pages
  • Email Accounts
  • Professional and Business Websites

Call today to discuss comprehensive planning including a pet trust for your family's best friend.

Business Entity Formation and Succession Planning

Businesses are built on ideas. Whether you are in the initial idea phase, looking to transfer your business to the next generation or a third party or somewhere between, we can help.

  • Entity Formation
  • Operating and Shareholder Agreements
  • Exit Strategies and Succession Planning
  • Employment Agreements
  • Non-compete and Non-disclosure Agreements
  • Corporate and Business Entity Maintenance
  • Entity Selection (choosing the business form that is right for you)

Wealth Preservation-Asset Protection

Wealth Preservation planning is an assessment of your personal and professional risk followed by an integration of your business plan, estate plan, asset ownership and insurance needs. Wealth preservation planning should be of interest to everyone, but it is particularly important for professionals such as veterinarians, dentists, doctors, physician assistants and business owners.

The Bandera Law Firm can assist you with understanding risk and identifying plans that will help you manage it as well as mitigate it for future generations.

This planning includes:

  • Limited Liability Entities
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Correct Trust Funding
  • Spendthrift Trusts
  • Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
  • Identifying and preserving exempt assets

Charitable Giving and Non-profit Formation

Wealth brings with it the opportunity to make a difference. Whether your interests are large or small, regional or international, The Bandera Law Firm can help you build a charitable solution that best fits you and your vision. You can make a difference, we can help. The plan might include:

  • Charitable Remainder Unitrusts
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts
  • Charitable Gifts of Life Insurance
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Net Income Remainder Trusts
  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Establishing a Private Foundation or Supporting Organization

Estate Planning for Expats and International Families

The most recent US State Department estimates are that there are 9 million US citizens living abroad and there are 41 million immigrants living in the US. If you are thinking of working in or moving to another country, there are many practical considerations to consider.


A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

U.S. citizens do not need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit. In this situation, when planning travel abroad, learn about visa requirements by country, see country information in the International Travel Section of the website for the U.S. Department of State.


Depending upon the country of choice, the cost of health care can be significant. Having health insurance is often a condition of being granted a visa. It also pays to be aware of the rules and regulations for individual countries – for example, regulations in Spain mean that some ex-pats taking early retirement there have been blocked from free medical treatment. Most U.S. private insurance companies and Medicare generally do not cover medical costs in another country.

Pension/Social Security

Check with the Social Security office and your former employer to determine whether payments can be deposited into a local bank account.

Inheritance Laws and Wills

The laws of inheritance vary throughout the world. From "forced heirship" to taxes, whether you are a citizen, a resident or simply own property, you should consult with an expert to understand the consequences. In many countries, a Will created in your home country can direct assets located in another country, but it must be done properly.

Estate and Inheritance Tax

The US has tax treaties with many countries, understanding the interplay and how to structure your estate plan is critical to eliminate or reduce inheritance and estate taxes. This may include special trusts such as Qualified Domestic Trusts in the US or a Will in your adopted country of residency.

The Bandera Law Firm can alert you to the rules of your adopted country, whether the US or other, and in many cases assist with the planning and, where needed, cooperate among professionals.