Creating your estate plan is a highly personal and individual process. Given the importance of the finished product, choosing the right estate planning attorney to assist you should be a priority. At the Galveston, Texas Mendel Law Firm, L.P. we understand how important your estate plan is to you as well as how intimidating it can be to try and choose the right attorney to help you create your plan given the sensitive and highly personal nature of estate planning. With that in mind, we are dedicated to creating a lifelong relationship with our Galveston, Texas friends and neighbors in order to help them with all their estate planning needs.
The History of Galveston, Texas
Galveston Texas is a relatively small island two miles offshore of the Gulf of Mexico located adjacent to Houston, with one way in and one way out. Galveston Island was originally inhabited by members of the Karankawa and Akokisa tribes. The first permanent European settlements were built around 1816 by pirate Louis-Michel Aury. The Port of Galveston was established in 1825 by the Congress of Mexico after its successful revolution from Spain. The city was the main port for the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution.
The modern day city of Galveston, Texas was founded in 1836 by Matthew Sabo. During this golden era of Galveston’s history, it was home to quite a few of the state’s firsts, including the first post office, the first naval base, the first cotton compress, the first insurance company, first opera house, the first telephone and the first medical college (now the University of Texas). During the middle of the 19th century, Galveston became an international city with immigration and trade from around the world.
The city became one of the nation’s busiest ports and the world’s leading port for cotton exports. Galveston became Texas’ largest city and a prime commercial center. In 1900, the island was hit by a disastrous hurricane. To this day, the hurricane of 1900 holds the record as the United States’ deadliest natural disaster with 15 feet storm surges and 125 mile per hour winds.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the city revived itself as a major tourist destination centered on casinos built on illegal mobster money. Featuring venues such as the famed Balinese Room, the city became popularly known as the “Sin City of the Gulf.” The illegal businesses were finally closed in the 1950s leading to a long, stagnant economic period. The city gradually re-emerged as a tourist destination centered on its history and its historical buildings. New tourist attractions continued to be built during the last half of the 20th century in an effort to revitalize the economy
Beginning in 1957, the Galveston Historical Foundation began its efforts to preserve historic buildings. Houston businessman George P. Mitchell, created the Strand Historic District, a major tourist attraction to date. A new, family-oriented tourism began to emerge. By the turn of the century, property values began to rise. In the early morning of September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall on Galveston Island as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour. Ike produced waves, much like the Hurricane of 1900, about 14 feet tall, which went around the famous Galveston Seawall, flooding the city from the storm sewers. As always, however, the resilient city rebuilt and turned tragedy to opportunity.
With yearly weather forecasts ranging no further apart than 60-80 degrees, 30 miles of beaches, a cool sea breeze and sunshine, this island cannot help but attract tourists. If the weather and the beach aren’t enough to attract you, Galveston is also home to 14 museums and 20 art galleries along with several historic mansions. Modern day Galveston offers residents and visitors alike a little slice of paradise just off the coast of Texas.
The Mendel Law Firm in the Galveston Community
Founding partner Stephen A. Mendel is a lifelong Texan, early his undergraduate degree in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and completing his legal studies at South Texas College of Law 1987. Attorney Mendel made the decision many years ago to focus his legal talents on helping his Galveston friends and neighbors with legal issues relating to wills, trusts, and estates, incapacity planning, retirement planning, and other closely related matters.
Estate planning is a very personal, and often sensitive, endeavor that often requires you to share confidential information with your attorney. Knowing that it can be difficult to divulge that information to a stranger is just one more reason why we strive to create lifelong relationships with our clients. Because estate planning is a lifelong process, the relationships we create with our clients are also important to the success of the plans they create.
An estate plan should evolve and change along with the changes you will experience in your life. Some estate planning strategies and tools, such as probate and tax avoidance, should be part of your estate plan from the beginning, others will be added along way as they become necessary to meet your changing needs and goals.
When you marry, for instance, it may be time to incorporate incapacity planning into your overall estate plan. When you experience the joy of parenthood for the first time it may be time to incorporate things such as incapacity planning and asset protection strategies into your estate plan. Finally, looking toward your “Golden Years” the team at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. will make sure your estate plan includes Medicaid and retirement planning components to ensure that you are financially secure and well prepared for your retirement years.
Contact a Knowledgeable Galveston Estate Planning Attorney Now
If you would like to get started on your estate plan, contact the experienced Galveston, Texas estate planning attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. by calling (281) 759-3213 to schedule your appointment today.