Estate Planning is all about planning for incapacity and someone you love. Estate planning in Houston is not for just the wealthy and does not need to be overly complex. Estate planning starts with you identifying your goals, hopes, and aspirations. This includes putting together a list of your assets, as well as naming beneficiaries and heirs. Estate planning simply is who gets what, how much, and when.
When this is complete, an experienced attorney can suggest estate planning options that help to make your goals a reality. A lawyer in Houston can draft the documents necessary to give your wishes legal power.
The ultimate goal of any estate plan is to ensure the proper distribution of your assets after your death. The first step here is identifying those assets.
These assets can come in many forms. However, they may also include:
- Physical Property
- Life insurance benefits
- Real estate
- Business assets
- Cash in bank accounts
Naming Beneficiaries and Heirs
Once a party identifies their assets, they will need to name the people that they wish to inherit. The same concepts can apply to the distribution of cash through trusts.
However, there are some key concepts that people should remember when selecting heirs and beneficiaries. Children who are not yet adults cannot directly inherit in wills. At the same time, naming beneficiaries who live in other states or countries may leave an estate vulnerable to taxation. One goal of a Houston estate planning lawyer is to identify any potential complications that may arise with the selection of heirs.
Crafting Estate Plan Documents
Estate plan documents can come in many forms. The traditional will is still useful for devising property after one’s death. However, more creative plans can use trusts and other, more flexible options to benefit one’s heirs after a testator’s death.
An experienced attorney can work with you to craft an estate plan that leaves no stone unturned. This is especially important to avoid the state’s laws concerning intestacy. According to Texas Estates Code § 201.001, all property that does not receive a mention in an estate plan will go to parties prescribed by law. This can result in a complex and lengthy probate process that can leave potential heirs embittered and in conflict. The goal of a Houston estate planning attorney is to avoid this outcome by drafting comprehensive estate plan documents that leave no doubt concerning a person’s wishes.
Reach Out to an Attorney in Houston Today to Begin Planning Your Estate
Having a comprehensive estate plan is vital to both your peace of mind and the future of your heirs. Lacking these plans could see your estate embroiled in lengthy probate processes that could leave scars on a family for years. By contrast, forming an estate plan can help you to retain control and leave no doubt concerning your wishes for after your death.
An estate plan can include multiple legal documents. A traditional will is still a useful tool. In addition, trusts can provide a way to hold property for minors or provide payments to charities. Call today to learn how an attorney could help your case.