The Do's and Don'ts of Estate Planning
Our Brazoria County estate planning attorneys detail what to do and what not to do regarding important documents you need to have in place.
You likely have a firm idea on how you want matters handled in regards to your future health and finances, as well as how you want your family and friends to be provided for in the event of your death. Unfortunately, without the proper estate planning documents in place, such as Wills and power of attorneys, Texas law will dictate how those matters will be handled. You can prevent this from happening, sparing your loved ones from having to guess in making difficult decisions or endure time-consuming and potentially costly court proceedings. Our Lake Jackson estate planning attorneys offer sound advice in these matters and outline several estate planning pitfalls to avoid.
Actions to Take in Creating an Estate Plan
Estate planning documents are important for people of all ages, regardless of their health or finances. One of the most important of these is a will. According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP), more than 60% of all adults do not have this important document in place. A will conveys final wishes regarding funeral services, burial, and provides an inventory of your estate. It also designates beneficiaries, including family, friends, and charitable groups. Other important areas to address in estate planning include:
- Plans in the event you require nursing home care: Long term care can quickly wipe out any savings you have managed to accrue over the years. Establishing a trust may help ensure Medicaid eligibility, reducing out of pocket costs.
- Provisions for continued management of your finances or business: A power of attorney (POA) is an important legal document authorizing someone you trust to handle financial and business matters for you in the event you are incapacitated.
- Decisions regarding medical treatment: A medical power of attorney and other advance directives in Texas convey your wishes regarding important medical issues and any treatments you may require.
- Care of minor children or others who depend on you: Establishing a trust helps to ensure those caring for children or vulnerable adults have the financial resources they need. It also allows you to dictate how and when money or property is distributed.
Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid
Alongside important actions you want to take in regards to estate planning, there are some things you want to avoid:
- Not picking the rightexecutor: This person is appointed to carry out your wishes set forth in your Will and present your Will for probate in a Brazoria County Probate Court.
- Not updating estate planning documents regularly: These should reflect your current situation, as well as any changes in financial holdings and in family members or beneficiaries.
- Attempting to ‘do-it-yourself’: You need an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure your will and other estate planning documents are legally valid and will hold up in court. Our firm takes calls weekly if not daily on ‘do-it-yourself” internet Wills. Our response to those questions and based on our experience is those internet Wills might work or they might not work. Quite often our Firm has found those Wills have issues and either cannot be admitted to probate or make the probate process more expensive than it would have been with a properly drafted Will.
Contact Our Lake Jackson, Brazoria County Probate and Estate Planning Attorneys Today
The Cordoba Law Firm, PLLC provides the trusted legal guidance you need in estate planning and probate. To request a consultation, contact our Brazoria County estate planning attorneys today.