What Documents Do I Need in My Estate Planning?

What Documents Do I Need in My Estate Planning?

When forming an estate plan, be sure that it is complete and comprehensive with help from our qualified estate planning lawyers.

Creating a plan for your estate and your assets if you die is one of the most responsible things you can do while living. Creating an estate plan ensures that your assets are distributed to your heirs and others per your wishes, can be used to mitigate taxes, and provides peace of mind for both you and your beneficiaries. At the law office of Cordoba Law Firm, PLLC, our experienced Texas estate planning lawyers can provide guidance and legal advice as you create an estate plan. Here is an overview of common documents in an estate plan.

Essential Documents in an Estate Plan

Each estate plan will look different depending on a person's wealth, assets, interests, and plan for distributing their estate. With that in mind, some of the most common estate planning documents include:

  • Last will and testament. A last will and testament is a document that names the executor of your estate and includes your wishes for how your debts should be paid, as well as how your assets should be distributed and to whom. A last will and testament—often simply called just a will—can also be used to name a guardian for any minors.
  • Directive to Physicians/Living will. Not to be confused with a last will and testament, a living will, also known as an advanced directive, is a legal document that outlines your preferences for healthcare towards the end of your life. It might include directions or preferences related to use of oxygen, feeding tubes, life-saving measures, organ donation, etc.
  • Powers of attorney (financial and healthcare). You should include two power of attorney documents in your estate plan—one regarding your finances and one regarding your healthcare. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else of your choosing the power to make healthcare/financial decisions on your behalf.
  • This is a fiduciary relationship where the trustee holds property or assets on the behalf of a beneficiary and distributes those assets per the terms of the trust. Trusts can be used for multiple purposes and can have tax benefits in some cases.

Get Help With Your Estate Plan From Cordoba Law Firm, PLLC

If you are thinking about creating or amending an estate plan and have questions, turn to the Texas estate planning professionals at the Cordoba Law Firm, PLLC. Our team has the experience that you can trust and always prioritizes our clients’ best interests. Reach us now by phone or online to get started.