Estate Planning

We Can Help with Your Estate Planning Goals

Many people think an estate plan consists only of a Will that distributes your property after you die. While that is important, a comprehensive estate plan covers much more. Your estate plan also:

  • Allows you to express your final wishes,
  • Provides guidance to your family when they need it most,
  • Addresses your potential incapacity,
  • Tells doctors what medical treatments are acceptable, and
  • Arranges a more efficient transfer of your property to your heirs.

So how can you get started? It helps to start by defining what you hope to accomplish with your estate plan.

estate planning
Advice from Estate Planning Attorneys

When you meet with your lawyer, you will discuss your unique circumstances. Complicated family situations and high-net-worth estates may require more than the basic documents. Small estates may not have to worry about paying estate taxes but might still have other financial issues to consider. Finally, estate planning can help create a more secure future for your family members with special needs.

Correctly drafted and executed estate planning documents accomplish the following:

  • A durable power of attorney appoints an agent to handle your financial affairs. Your agent’s authority can start now or when triggered by an event. For example, your power of attorney might go into effect if you become incapacitated.
  • A medical power of attorney names someone to make medical decisions for you if you can no longer make those decisions yourself.
  • Your Directive to Physicians or living will explains your end-of-life treatment preferences.
  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts can help a variety of issues, including Medicaid planning and probate avoidance.

Your estate planning attorney can help develop a plan that meets your individual goals.

Other Aspects of Your Estate

Beneficiary designations on insurance, investment accounts, and retirement plans must be coordinated with your estate plan. Frankly, this is not usually a do-it-yourself project. It’s easy to get your estate out of balance by bequeathing an account to one heir without remembering that you named another heir as beneficiary. In some cases, one heir may receive a disproportionate share of the estate because estate plans do not address changes to account balances.

Jointly-owned property must also be considered when crafting your estate plan.

It’s complicated. However, it’s also crucial to leave your family the right guidance through a properly-developed estate plan.

Call Houston Estate Planning Lawyers for Help with Your Texas Estate Plan

Our experienced estate planning lawyers develop estate plans that help clients reach their goals. To discuss your plan, please contact us by calling (713) 940-4500 or using our convenient Contact Form.

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