January 23, 2023
The one thing everyone on this Earth has in common is that they are going to die one day. If you’ve ever had a close friend or family member pass away, you know how many expenses and complications follow shortly after. Despite this being a sad time in a family’s life, they also have to make important financial decisions. Villeda Law Group will go a long way to solving your estate planning needs. When you do your estate planning in Texas with us at Villeda Law Group, you will have a gracious and well-planned exit, and your family will not have to bear the financial and decision-making burden.
Importance of Texas Estate Planning
What makes Texas estate planning so important that you should consider it as early as possible?
- Having peace of mind – Knowing that you are exercising good judgment about your assets and ensuring your family is taken care of brings you a lot of peace. When one handles tough decisions in advance in estate planning, they give their family an easier time when the inevitable happens.
- Asset Protection – Estate planning protects your assets from misuse by family members, credit institutions, and divorce courts. Tools such as the Power of Attorney and trusts shield you and your assets from abuse and poor decision-making.
- Proper Asset Distribution – Estate planning allows you to allocate your assets at your discretion. Without a plan, probate distributes your wealth and may give more to people you did not intend to. Planning allows you to distribute assets as you see fit.
- Cater for minor and differently-abled children – Children often get overlooked after family passes, but this does not have to be yours. Proper planning allows them to have a decent life even in your absence. Estate planning allows you to choose a guardian for minor children at your demise and also a trustee for their finances.
Creating an Estate Plan
These are the most crucial steps when creating an estate plan:
- Take proper inventory of your assets.
- Account for the needs of the family. From assets to a guardian for minors, this is all important.
- Get your legal directive taken care of. These include the power of attorney, medical care directives, and a living trust, among others.
- Review and update beneficiaries.
- Make plans for reassessment after a pre-determined period.
Common Estate Planning Tools
For estate planning documents, everyone should include the following:
- The main utilities of a will include leaving property to people, naming a guardian for minor children, determining a guardian for said minor’s assets, and setting out a person to ensure your Will is followed.
- Trusts function much in the same way as a Will, but they provide the added benefit of not going through the courts as a Will does. You may also name a successor to manage your trust when you leave this world.
- Power of attorney is a document allowing you to grant certain powers to an ‘agent’ to handle specific matters for you. These include depositing checks in your account, filing taxes, and mortgaging your home.
How To Avoid Common Mistakes in Estate Planning
As a layman trying to set your affairs in order, you will probably make some mistakes here and there. The common ones are:
- Not thinking about children’s future;
- Forgetting about tax obligations;
- Not considering digital assets;
- Not naming beneficiaries; and
- Not updating them as frequently as others.
Avoidance of such is achievable by engaging an estate planning attorney. Villeda Law Group will make sure your plans are carried out as effectively as possible and that your wishes come true.
Assistance from our Estate Planning Attorney in the Rio Grande Valley
Estate planning isn’t only important for you, it is most significant to your family and loved ones. Younger ones look to their guardians to lead and make plans for difficult times. However, sometimes even adults don’t have all the pertinent information they need and may end up making mistakes.
To avoid putting your family in jeopardy, contact us at Villeda Law Group for an estate planning attorney.
What You Should Include in Your Estate
Power of Attorney
People of all ages should grant power of attorney to a close and trustworthy friend or family member. They can then act on your behalf should you be physically or mentally incapable of making decisions or taking action. A power of attorney enables them to take the following actions and more:
- Signing checks from your account
- Handling inheritance
- Handling issues involving insurance
- Filing of tax returns
- Paying off some expenses, such as pet care
- Managing your business
Health Care Directive
Also referred to as a durable power of attorney, it enables a person you choose to make important healthcare decisions for you. Without this instrument, the wrong person may make decisions that could conflict with the afflicted person’s wishes. This also helps avoid many conflicts within the family regarding who should have the responsibility.
As a young, employed adult, you may have savings, checking, retirement, and investment accounts. It is critical to name a beneficiary for each. This is the person you choose to receive all the assets in those accounts should you die unexpectedly. Not only does this ensure everything goes to the person you intended, but it helps your family and loved ones avoid many fees involved in the probate process.
Last Will and Testament
Another thing to include in your estate is a Last Will and Testament. It is a document supported by a law stipulating how you want your assets shared after you die. These assets may include real and personal property, including cash, bank accounts, ownership interests in businesses and more. A Will follows important clauses, such as choosing an executor to oversee estate administration.
Estate planning isn’t only for the rich and old but is also important for the rest. Navigating your estate plan without a lawyer can lead you to mistakes. For more information on the importance of estate planning, consult an estate planning attorney at Villeda Law Group.