Effective estate planning can provide for the long-term financial stability of your heirs. It can also result in a more comfortable future for you and your spouse.
Having a comprehensive estate plan can ensure the proper transfer of assets upon your death as well as help you to retain financial stability in the coming years. Even so, it is important to recognize many of the issues with estate planning in Houston that can impact the viability of these plans.
Our experienced attorneys at Hegwood Law Group are ready to discuss your estate planning options and to identify potential complications that may arise. With careful strategizing, it is possible to limit the effect of these complications or avoid them entirely.
Taking a Full Measure of One’s Assets
The point of having an estate plan is ensuring that one’s assets move to the proper parties in the future. This is only possible if an estate planner is able to locate, identify, and properly describe these assets. Naming each asset with as much specificity as possible ensures that a probate court and the executor of one’s estate have no doubt concerning one’s intentions.
Our skilled attorneys could help people properly catalog their assets as a preliminary step in the estate planning process. This helps to ensure a smooth transition in the future and can lessen the chances of probate conflicts after one’s death.
Ensuring that Estate Planning Documents Meet the Legal Requirements
For the best results, estate planning documents will name a person’s assets and heirs with as much specificity as possible. However, these documents could still fail to have the intended legal effect if they do not satisfy the law’s requirements for construction.
For instance, Texas Estates Code § 251.051 says that a will is presumably valid if the testator signs the document in the presence of at least two witnesses. In addition, those witnesses must also sign the document in the presence of the testator. Similar concepts apply to other estate planning documents such as trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills. Our team can ensure that the construction of estate planning documents conform with all relevant legal standards.
Avoiding the Intestacy Statute
Wills function as a way to move property from one party to another after the testator’s death. They also serve to override the state’s intestacy statute. The intestacy statute encoded at TX Estates Code § 201 et seq. describes which family members will receive portions of the decedent’s estate if they die without a will.
To this end, having a will avoids this process and can help to keep an estate intact. From the other perspective, parties may choose to contest a will that intentionally leaves them out of the inheritance if they believe that the will was the product of fraud or undue influence. For these reasons, it is essential to confirm that a will is both comprehensive and legally valid.
Call a Houston Attorney for Help Avoiding Issues with Estate Planning
Every adult should have a comprehensive estate plan that determines the property rights of heirs in the future. This can include a will that goes into effect upon one’s death as well as trusts and living wills that provide more security for the immediate future.
It is also important to be able to recognize the issues with estate planning in Houston that could jeopardize your goals. These include debates over the completeness of wills, the state’s intestacy laws, and ensuring that documents meet the relevant legal standards. Hegwood Law Group can help you better understand these potential issues and take proactive steps to limit their potential impact on your future. Contact us to learn more.