Are you thinking about the distribution of your estate after your death?
Estate planning ensures that your wishes are followed once you’ve passed on. It’ll spare your family unnecessary delay and expense.
However, estate planning in Texas has some unique aspects that distinguish it from the rest of the country.
This guide to Texas estate planning will tell you everything you need to know about being prepared in the Lone Star State.
Pick a Health Care Attorney-in-Fact
This step is essential when nearing the end of life. In Texas estate law, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document that selects a health care attorney-in-fact, or agent.
The agent’s role is to make decisions regarding health care treatments once the patient is too incapacitated to make informed decisions.
Pick a Financial Attorney-in-Fact
Just like healthcare, you should enlist the assistance of someone you trust when it comes to securing your finances.
This financial agent will have the freedom to operate within the scope of a durable power of attorney. They will be able to make financial transactions in the same capacity that the principal would if they had the capacity to do so.
Make a List of Current Assets
To prepare for the division of your estate according to Texas law, it is recommended to form a list of personal property and assets, including bank accounts and stakes in businesses.
This list will be helpful in defining the distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries. It’ll also be useful for any financial agent acting on your behalf when comes time to transfer ownership.
The beneficiaries are the individuals that will receive a portion of your estate. Usually, they are family members, but close friends and business associates can also be beneficiaries.
When doing estate planning, it is wise to establish a list of beneficiaries who will each receive a percentage of the estate while of sound mind.
Draft a Will and Living Trust
There are two legal documents used in Texas law to communicate your wishes when it comes to estate administration: a Will and a Living Trust. You can use one or both of them for your estate planning.
A Last Will and Testament, or Will, is a document that provides instructions on what should become of your estate after death.
A Living Trust also serves for estate planning. However, the difference is that the document won’t have to go through the probate process before the assets are transferred to the beneficiaries.
Instead, an individual titled the successor trustee will have the responsibility of administering your estate. Additionally, unlike a Will, a Trust is effective as of the document’s signature.
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Texas Estate Planning Done Right
Texas estate planning has a few particularities. You’ll need to pick people you trust for healthcare and financial decisions when getting close to the end of your life.
Additionally, you should comprise a list of your assets to facilitate the process. Name the beneficiaries of your estate and draft a last will and testament or a living trust.
Want more tips on estate planning? Check out our Real Estate Law articles.