Tax and Estate Planning
Filing an income tax return can be overwhelmingly complex. The tax laws are constantly changing and unless this is your full time occupation, it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of the changes. What goes on your return directly impacts whether you will be audited or not. That is precisely why you need the services of Cantrell & Cantrell. We can reduce the possibility that you will owe tax upon an audit, while at the same time, reducing your taxes. Whether you prepare your own return or have someone else do it, your return may need a second look before you file it to make sure you haven’t overlooked something. This applies to simple Form 1040’s as well as the more complex returns for partnerships, corporations, trusts, tax-exempt organizations, and estate and gift tax returns. Our experts can help insure that you have filed an accurate return and saved every penny coming to you.
One of the most critical decisions in forming a new entity is which legal form the entity should take. Our experts can help you decide the best choice among a variety of legal options available. We help you ask the right questions, such as what is the entity’s purpose, what type of assets will (or should) it hold, how long is the entity expected to last, will there be new owners in the future, like key employees or family members, and what is your exit strategy. Letting us help you with this analysis can avoid costly mistakes down the road
Our legal team has over 40 years’ experience with non-profit organizations – forming them, advising them, managing them and terminating them. Non-profit organizations come in many types. They can be private foundations, single purpose charities, civic organizations, and even baseball clubs, to name a few. We can help your organization avoid unintended footfalls by advising you on the best legal form for your organization, how to classify it for tax purposes, how to satisfy its state and federal filing obligations, and how to enjoy it.
The largest segment of the population ever born – the baby boomers – are now planning their estates, and so are their adult children. They are doing this despite the increased estate tax exemption and talk in Washington about eliminating the estate tax. Why? Because they want an orderly transition, they want to protect their heirs, and they believe that more is not always better. Consequently, they are leaving their money in long-term trusts to motivate their children, teach them how to be good stewards, and protect them from creditors. Let us help you create a family legacy by drafting an estate plan tailor made to carry out your wishes.
An increasing number of people are being thrust into the role of trustee or executor as wealth passes from one generation to the next. Our board certified Houston probate lawyers can guide you through this confusing process by helping you assemble the assets, pay bequests, plan for taxes, fund any trusts created by the will and finally close the estate. We can also advise you on your role as fiduciary, including how to document your decisions, manage the trust assets, and avoid fiduciary liability.
One of the first jobs the family has after a loved one has died is to probate the will. This allows the executor to obtain “letters testamentary”, which gives the executor the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. Our board certified Houston probate lawyers can help you through this process quickly and painlessly so the executor can get on with the job of administering and distributing the estate.
When a legal dispute arises, whether it is a business, family, or tax matter, our experts can testify on your behalf. We have over 40 years’ experience testifying on matters such as community property, professional malpractice, income and property taxes, breach of fiduciary duty, and contract disputes. We are also experts at calculating damages of all kinds. Whatever your dispute involves, we can enhance your chances of success with our expert testimony.
Carol A. Cantrell is a trained mediator under the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code. She uses her expertise in estates, trusts, and business matters to help people resolve their legal differences without going to court. She has expertise in matters such as breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, property rights, professional malpractice, and calculating damages. Mediation is an invaluable tool to resolve differences at a fraction of the cost of going to court. Mediation is also private, unlike court proceedings, which are open to the public. In mediation, the parties can create customized agreements tailored to their unique needs, unlike a court order or jury verdict, which can be a blunt instrument. And finally, mediation brings certainty, unlike the court process, which can drag on for years. In mediation, people work together to find a solution acceptable to everyone and which focuses on the future rather than who is to blame. Call us to see if mediation might be right for you.