What Is Estate Planning In Texas? Who Needs It?
Everyone needs an estate plan. There is no reason anyone in Texas should ever die without a will. The process can be simple and inexpensive. An estate plan is so important; and I feel strongly that everyone should have one in place, for their security and the security of their family. I am committed to helping people prepare for their futures, so I offer my services at a reasonable price, for a Will, Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Medical Directive, HIPAA Release, and Children’s Medical Power of Attorney.
At What Age Should I Begin Estate Planning In San Antonio, TX?
It is easy to think that estate planning does not apply to you, especially when you are young and have not yet acquired many assets. Most people have been convinced that they do not actually need an estate planning attorney or an estate plan until they are much older or have a lot more money. This is absolutely not true. People of all ages should spend time putting together an estate plan that fits their needs. While your estate planning needs will change at every age, the fact that estate planning is required will not.
- Can Someone Handle Estate Planning And Real Estate Issues Without An Attorney?
- What Should Be The Ultimate Goal Of A Proper Estate Plan?
- What Is The Function Of A Will? Should It Be A Part Of Every Estate Plan?
- What Is The Purpose Of A Trust? What Are The Different Types of Trusts?
Estate Planning In Your 20s
Once you have become 18 years old in Texas, your parents do not have the authority to make healthcare or financial decisions for you anymore. It is incredibly important, in early adulthood, that you find an estate planning attorney and take the first steps toward estate planning to ensure that your healthcare and financial decision, are protected, should you become incapacitated.
- Medical Directive: This document specifies which healthcare decisions you would make if you were able to, in case you cannot voice your choices due to incapacitation.
- Power of Attorney: This document names a person who will make decisions for you, if you are not able to. There are two different types; a mental Power of Attorney and a Financial Power of Attorney.
Estate Planning In Your 30s
Most people buy a home and start a family between the ages of 30 and 40. In order to protect your assets and your loved ones, it is important to visit your San Antonio estate planning attorney to expand the documents in your estate plan.
- Will: Your will specifies who will inherit all of your assets, who will settle your estate, and who will care for your minor children.
- Trust: A trust will transfer ownership of your assets to a trustee, who will manage them for the beneficiaries you specify. To find out which type of trust is right for your situation, consult with your estate planning lawyer.
Estate Planning In Your 40s
Once you reach your 40s, it is time to catch up on any estate planning you have not put in place yet. This is also the time when you should talk to your parents about their estate plan. While it is never easy to face the reality that your parents would not live forever, it is important to understand their wishes while they are still here. Make sure that your parents have prepared the proper legal documents for distributing their assets, making medical decisions, and long-term care. If you find that your parents have not created or updated their estate plan in San Antonio, Texas, refer them to a respected estate planning attorney.
Estate Planning In Your 50s and Beyond
By the time you have reached your 50s, your estate planning efforts should be focused on keeping your wishes updated. Any time a milestone occurs, like a marriage, a divorce, or the birth or a child or grandchild, visit your estate planning attorney.
What Issues Or Matters Can Be Addressed In A Will?
A Will primarily details your wishes with respect to your possessions, and designates a person you trust to manage the probate process. I provide a very short questionnaire to all my clients who have requested information in regard to the preparation of a will.
Parents & Children: A contingent trust can be created in a will to designate an individual to manage a child’s or children’s financial affairs until they reach a designated age in the event that both parents die prior to their children reaching the designated age. The designated age is determined by the client based upon their perception of the child’s or children’s financial responsibility.
Other Components Of An Estate Plan You May Want To Consider
The other components to an Estate Plan prepared by my office are a Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Medical Directive, HIPAA Release, and Children’s Medical Power of Attorney. These documents are effective during your lifetime.
Over the years, I have also created trusts for specific purposes, such as to fund college education, etc. For high net worth individuals, trusts are used to minimize the value of an estate prior to death, and to gift money and assets to family members or charities during the individual’s lifetime.
In states other than Texas, trust planning is often used to avoid an arduous probate process. With an independent administration in Texas, the probate process is not typically a reason to create a trust. The federal estate tax exemption is currently so high that it affects very few people, minimizing the need for trust planning as a means to reduce the value of an individual’s estate. Texas has no state estate tax.
How Often Should I Give My Estate Plan A Check Up?
An estate plan should be updated, at minimum, every 10 years. Your estate plan should also be updated when you have children or additional children, a significant change in financial condition, or a change in marital status.
What Is The Best Place for Me To Keep A Will?
My office maintains most original wills we draft. I offer this service at no additional cost to my clients. If a client wants to keep their original will, I recommend storing it in a safety deposit box.
Additional Information On Estate Planning In Texas
Every person regardless of age, health, or wealth needs to have a proper estate plan in place. If you die without a will, the laws of the State of Texas arbitrarily determine the disposition of your property. The people you value and treasure the most, your loved ones, will be appreciative that you have a proper estate plan in place that makes it easy on them during their time of grief.
No one knows how long they have to live. An illness, catastrophic injury, or unexpected death could occur tomorrow. Are you prepared? The Law Office of Seth K. Bell will draft an estate plan that fits your needs and details all of your wishes.
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