When it comes to estate planning and probate law, it is important to remember that the affects last both during and after this lifetime.
Richard Behlmann is a board certified Estate Planning & Probate Law attorney who also addresses Elder Law. He’s been practicing since 1979 and established the Behlmann Law Firm in Katy five years ago. He felt called to be an attorney when his parents’ business needed legal expertise. Starting out as a prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, Missouri, he segued into tax law.
“I saw first hand the importance of estate planning and probate tax law when I experienced two unexpected deaths, a brother-in-law who was 40 and a brother who was 43. I had already helped them set up their estates and saw the benefit it was to their families,” says Behlmann, who feels he practices a positive area of the law. “People feel better and are more at peace when they know their affairs are in order and that their final wishes will be honored. No one wants to leave a burden to those left behind.” In fact, tax limitations have gone up, so at times it’s more a matter of protecting beneficiaries from themselves. Being clueless or misinformed does no one any good. Business and special needs planning are also included in Behlmann’s suite of services.
Estate planning is crucial. “It can involve emotional issues and other issues, and writing down what you want and who you want in charge removes the drama,” says Behlmann. As a “before the fact” kind of lawyer, he tries to make the process as easy as possible. “Everybody’s situation is different. There are different properties, different family dynamics and different challenges.” He offers a free consultation and does not sell overly complicated plans or services. “We assess what our clients needs are and guide them in the simplest to meet those needs,” says Behlmann. Helping families preserve their wealth during and after their lifetime is his mission through wills, living trusts, probate, asset protection, medicaid planning and powers of attorney.
As for Elder Law, it often helps the children of the elderly who, on behalf of their parents, have questions about coverage, the right care, entitlements, protections, navigation of the system, preparation and having right documentation in place.
Behlmann has been married to his bride, Elaine, for 36 years and has three sons, Joe (a lawyer like his dad), John (an actor in New York) and Kevin (who lives in Austin and teaches orchestra in Georgetown). Two are products of Katy ISD and all were raised in the Catholic faith. Joe is expecting his first child and is keeping the details a surprise, so the Behlmanns are waiting to find out whether they’ll have a granddaughter or grandson to spoil. When Kevin graduated from high school, Elaine joined her husband at the law firm to help where she was needed. They have one dog who is ever present. “Xena (the Warrior Princess) was lonely when her companion, our other dog, passed away. So we brought her with us to work and now have an office dog,” says Behlmann.
For ways to plan and protect, call 281-398-0088 or visit the Behlmann Law Firm at www.behlmannlaw.com.