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Author: Todd Wilson

Law Office of Todd A. Wilson > Articles posted by Todd Wilson

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Texas Trusts 

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Texas Trusts | TAW Law TX

Discover What Types of Trusts Are Better Suited for Different Types of Businesses & Objectives

Trusts can be indispensable tools for forward-thinking small business owners. Across nearly every industry, trusts for small businesses in Texas can be highly effective devices for asset protection, succession planning, retirement income strategizing, estate tax mitigation, and so much more. 

That may mean that some small business owners can benefit from setting up multiple trusts, all with unique objectives. That doesn’t, however, narrow down the options or point you in the right direction when it’s time to set up a trust for your small business in Texas.

To help you with that, this guide on trusts for Texas small businesses shares more on: 

This guide can walk you through the various options for small business trusts, explaining how each device works, the potential benefits, and the types of small businesses that could benefit from them. 

What If You Could Put Your Biggest Estate Planning Fears Behind You?

Todd A. Wilson - Estate Planning Lawyer

You Can Silence Your Biggest Estate Planning Concerns with Confidence. Here’s How.

When you think about estate planning and your will, what scares or worries you the most

If you’re like most Americans, you have at least one answer to that question — and facing your mortality isn’t necessarily at the top of the list. 

In fact, more often than not these days, estate planning fears are related to nuanced situations, complicated concerns, and ever-evolving uncertainties that can be tricky to navigate. 

For many, that’s enough reason to avoid estate planning entirely. For others, fears or anxieties keep them from taking a fresh look at a will or estate plan they created years ago. 

Either way, that can feed into more estate planning worries, and it can end up making people’s worst estate planning fears eventually come true. 

Here’s why, with a closer look at: 

This guide can help you identify and start working through your estate planning fears while also introducing you to some powerful strategies for keeping them at bay for the long term. 

Your ILIT Guide: How to Capitalize on ILITs Ahead of 2026

Your ILIT Guide: How to Capitalize on ILITs Ahead of 2026 - TAW Law TX

More Folks Are Setting Up ILITs & Other Trusts Ahead of 2026. Find Out Why.

Irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs) could be uniquely advantageous and offer greater peace of mind if set up before Jan. 1, 2026. That’s because ILITs may provide a more effective way of reducing the value of an estate and preserving life insurance benefits while federal estate tax exemptions remain at their current rates. 

Within two years, however, those higher rates could disappear, as lifetime estate tax exemptions are on track to drop by roughly half in 2026 if nothing changes between now and then. 

With that, the options for mitigating federal estate taxes and protecting assets like life insurance payouts could be far more limited — and possibly less attractive.  

Here’s why, with a closer look:

This ILIT guide explains the ins and outs, pros and cons, and general uses of irrevocable life insurance trusts in less than 3 minutes to get anyone up to speed with this estate planning option.

Your IDGT Guide: How to Strategically Use IDGTs Before 2026

Your IDGT Guide: How to Strategically Use IDGTs Before 2026 | Estate Planning Lawyer in Austin, TX

Discover How IDGTs Are Helping Some Folks Prepare for Changing Estate Tax Exemptions

Intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs) can be highly effective in preserving, maximizing, and transferring certain assets — especially if you set an IDGT up before Jan. 1, 2026. That’s when lifetime estate tax exemptions could drop drastically, taking millions in available exclusions off the table if federal laws don’t change before Dec. 31, 2025.  

With the clock counting down and limited time to take action, there may be no better time than right now to consider an intentionally defective grantor trust. 

To help with that, check out these IDGT FAQs, with concise answers from top estate planning lawyers in Austin, TX:

What the SECURE Act 2.0 Means for Retirement Assets & Your Estate Plan

SECURE Act 2.0 & Your Estate Plan - Austin Estate Planning Lawyer

The Updated Legislation May Raise New Issues for Your Estate Plan. Here’s How.

The SECURE Act 2.0 may have advanced retirement planning in several ways while simultaneously creating new wrinkles and potential disruptions in existing estate plans. From minimum distributions to mandatory withdrawals, the rules for retirement accounts have changed with the SECURE Act 2.0. 

Find out what it all means for you and your estate plan by getting up to speed with: 

Your Guide to GRATs: A Tax-Savvy Trust to Leverage Before 2026

Your Guide to GRATs: A Tax-Savvy Trust to Leverage Before 2026 | Austin Trust & Estate Planning Lawyer

Find Out the Advantages of Setting Up GRATs Now, Ahead of Sunsetting Estate Tax Exemptions

Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) may offer some distinct advantages if you set them up before Dec. 31, 2025. That’s because federal estate tax exemptions and gift tax exclusions will be sunsetting on January 1, 2026, if the laws don’t change between now and then. 

If or when that happens, millions of dollars in available exemptions could disappear. 

If you know what’s coming and you’ve planned ahead, you could be sitting pretty a couple of years from now, with all your ducks in a row and some tax-savvy trusts, like GRATs, already set up to protect and advance your interests. 

On the other hand, if you ignore it all, you could miss out on the chance to do more with GRATs before federal estate tax exemptions change. That could leave you with higher tax bills. It may even make Uncle Sam one of your biggest beneficiaries. 

To find out how — and how to stop that from happening while there’s still time — you can get up to speed in about 2 minutes with these GRAT FAQs:

Potential Downsides of Ignoring an Estate Plan Until 2026

Potential Downsides of Ignoring an Estate Plan Until 2026 | Austin Estate Planning Lawyer

Putting an Estate Plan on the Backburner Could Backfire Soon. Here’s Why.

Estate planning doesn’t need to top your to-do list constantly, but there are some very good reasons it should be a priority before 2026. In fact, whether or not you currently have an estate plan, you’ll likely be better off creating one or reviewing the one you have before Jan. 1, 2026, instead of after. 

To dial into why this is so important and the core issues at play, here are some insightful answers, explaining: 

How 5 Trusts Can Help You Ahead of the 2026 Estate Tax Exemption Changes

How 5 Trusts Can Help You Ahead of the 2026 Estate Tax Exemption Changes - TAW Law TX

One or More of These Trusts Could Offer You Several Advantages, Especially by 2026. See What May Be Right for You.

The moves you make or don’t make in the next couple of years could critically change your estate tax liabilities. That’s because sunsetting tax laws are set to cut current estate tax exemptions roughly in half on January 1, 2026, assuming no new tax laws are passed first. 

If you think that’s a problem for your heirs to worry about, think again. 

The changing exclusions apply to federal estate taxes and gift taxes, meaning they could affect large gifts made during your lifetime and:

  1. They could subject you to much greater tax liabilities if you haven’t taken the right steps ahead of time.
  2. It’s not too late to get up to speed with what’s happening, figure out your options, and put some prudent strategies in place now.

To that end, let’s walk through five trusts that can offer powerful flexibility and solutions to prepare for the 2026 estate tax exemption change. Those trusts include: 

  1. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)
  2. Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)
  3. Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs)
  4. Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs)
  5. Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs)

Estate Tax Exemptions Set to Drop by 50% in 2026: Are You Ready?

Estate Tax Exemptions to Drop by 50% in 2026: Are You Ready? | Austin Estate Planning Attorney

Many More People Will Owe Estate Taxes Upon Death Without Appropriate Planning

Your estate plan may not be as buttoned up or airtight as you think. In fact, it could be vulnerable to greater estate tax liabilities than you thought IF you planned around certain exemptions that are set to expire in 2026. 

Those sunsetting laws will drastically change federal estate tax exemptions if no new legislation is passed between now and Jan. 1, 2026. 

Is your estate plan ready for these changes? 

Do you need to devise or revise an estate plan now in anticipation of the expiring estate tax exemptions?

Let’s start answering those questions by looking at:   

Community v. Separate Property in Texas Probate & Estate Planning

Community v Separate Property in Texas Probate

When a Spouse Dies in TX, Here’s What Happens to Community v. Separate Property

Widows and widowers in Texas don’t necessarily inherit everything when their spouse passes away. In fact, surviving spouses may — or may not — be legally entitled to various assets, depending on the nature of the community versus separate property, whether the deceased spouse left behind a valid will, and other factors. 

While that can raise some complex and challenging issues in and outside of Texas probate, it doesn’t have to be confusing, especially for those who understand the following: