If you have just begun to contemplate estate planning, you may still be unsure of the steps involved.
Understanding the key aspects of estate planning can help you as you undertake this important work.
1. Start today
If you are young, estate planning might not seem like an immediate concern, but there are several reasons you should start the process sooner rather than later.
Providing for your children
If you are a parent, you should have a will that designates a guardian for your children.
Making your wishes known
An estate plan can help you avoid burdening your loved ones with difficult decisions in the event of your unexpected passing.
Protecting your unmarried or common-law partner
Texas recognizes common-law marriage, but your partner may have to go to court to claim his or her inheritance. You can prevent this situation by including your partner in your will.
2. Name an executor
Your executor is in charge of carrying out your wishes according to your will. Choose someone who is trustworthy and has strong communication and organizational skills.
3. Consider establishing a trust
If you have dependents, consider placing assets in a trust. The money you leave in your will must go through probate, but money in the trust does not.
4. Plan for end-of-life care
An advance directive is a legal document that conveys your wishes about medical interventions. If you are unable to make decisions for yourself, your next of kin can make decisions for you based on your advance directive.
5. Update your estate plan
Estate planning is an ongoing process. When your circumstances change, you should update your documents.
There are many steps to estate planning. Understanding these steps makes the estate planning process easier, so you and your family can have peace of mind