Estate Planning is the process of planning on how your assets will be passed to your loved ones at death. Sound estate planning can also give families peace of mind that your loved ones will have a plan to care for each other in the event of your incapacity. At minimum, every adult should have five items: a will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, advance directives and a HIPAA release.
You Will or Last Will and Testament disposes of your property to the people you designate, instead of your property being disposed according to the laws of the State of Texas. The only way for you to pass your property the way you intended is for you to have a properly executed will. If you don’t have a will, your property will pass according to the laws of the State of Texas, and the beneficiaries are different for everyone depending on their family situation. In addition, passing without a will can result in a lengthy and time-consuming probate process.
Your ancillary documents, the Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Advanced Directives and HIPAA Release allows for your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated, and most importantly, avoid the lengthy and expensive process of obtaining a guardianship should the need arise.
These documents do not begin to cover every situation. For example, parents with minor children or families with special needs adults should consider using trusts. If you own a house or a company, a will might not be the best way to transfer that asset to your loved one. The only way you can be confident that your plan is complete is to go to an attorney. A good attorney can listen to you and make sure that the documents address your specific needs, are written correctly according to current law, and are also executed properly according to the laws of Texas.
If you or someone you love needs a Will, or any other estate planning documents, reach out to Chiang Law Firm and set up a consultation today!