Knowing what will happen to your loved ones and your property is essential for achieving peace of mind. This knowledge can be confirmed by implementing an estate planning process that will ensure your decisions are set in stone.
If you want to make sure your loved ones are cared for, or any property you leave behind is transferred to the right people after your death, then estate planning is the best means of establishing these wishes. Estate planning involves deciding how your assets will be divided and managed after your passing, beforehand. These plans are set in place to prevent any confusion or altercations taking place, concerning the division of your assets between beneficiaries.
Some of the primary elements you will need to consider during Texas estate planning include:
Leaving a Valid Will
A will is an official document containing final instructions about how your property should be managed and divided after your passing. These instructions can be overseen by a lawyer and are made valid in a court of law. Some of the details that can be found in a will include, how property will be divided between beneficiaries, any potential instructions related to inheriting a particular asset, and a final message to the people involved.
In cases where you have small children, you could also select a guardian who will take over the responsibility of their care should anything happen to both parents. For the will to be valid, Texas law requires that you register a copy of the final document with a probate court.
Estate planning doesn’t only deal with the management of your assets after death, but can also include instructions for specific circumstances. In cases where you may be unable to make real-time decisions for the kind of medical care you would like to receive, a healthcare directive can make these choices on your behalf. If you end up in a comma, for instance, you will be unable to make direct decisions concerning your treatment.
Having a healthcare directive is like leaving a set of instructions and guidelines for the doctors to follow when they are unable to speak to you directly. The document can also simply name someone to be in charge of making such decisions, instead of leaving specific instructions for different scenarios.
Financial Power of Attorney
Apart from medical decisions, issues involving the management of your finances might also have to be addressed at times when you’re incapacitated. Naming a financial power of attorney is the best way to handle this particular problem. A financial power of attorney is the person chosen to manage your money on your behalf in cases where you cannot make direct decisions.
Your financial power of attorney will be responsible for issues such as handling your medical bills, settling any additional accounts owed to creditors, and managing any potential revenues in your portfolio.
You can decide the kind of control you would like your power of attorney to have by stating their various fiduciary duties in this document. This is a good way of protecting your assets in cases where they are intended for another beneficiary in the long-run – such as your children.