How Do I Create a Plan for my Estate Once I Pass?
Creating an estate plan is much like losing weight or getting back into shape: we all know it is something that we should do, but many of us fail to act because it seems daunting or there just isn’t that sense of urgency there. We all know that we’re going to die, but our own mortality isn’t something we usually like to contemplate, making the whole idea of estate planning a difficult thing to begin.
According to a recent survey, only 43% of adults in the United States have a will, meaning that they are essentially relinquishing control of how their assets should be distributed for the government to decide. Creating an estate plan will allow for your assets (however modest or great they may be) to go to the person, people, or even non-profit, that you choose.
Before you sit down with a lawyer to create your estate plan, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself in order to determine what is most important to you. Would you like to donate to charity? Who should run the family business? Would you like to provide for your grandchildren? Are you trying to pass along treasured possessions or family property? Do you have strong beliefs, whether religious or not, about healthcare decisions such as life support or resuscitation? What do you have to give and who do you want to give it to?
These are the types of questions you should consider when creating a plan for your estate, but they aren’t limited to that. In fact, the most common impetus for creating a will or estate plan is for parents that have children that are minors. If one or both parents were to unexpectedly pass away before the children are legally adults, you can ensure that your children are taken care of, not only financially, but also in determining guardianship to ensure that your wishes are legally respected.
Before sitting down with a lawyer, it is also important that you take stock of your assets in order to determine where those assets should go in the event of your death. Remember that these assets encompass everything from checking and savings accounts, investments, property or real estate, automobiles, as well as any collectibles or priceless heirlooms. Only by being fully aware of what we have can we put in place a plan to distribute it as we’d like.
You should also be sure to name an executor or personal representative who will be in charge of distributing property and assets to heirs, settling your estate, and executing your wishes. By appointing an executor, you avoid the need for a court-appointed executor and will save the estate money. The executor should be someone who you trust implicitly and who is responsible, competent, and willing to serve, which means you should ask them to be your executor before appointing them.
Too often, people pay for professional services to mow their lawn, landscape their house, fill out their tax returns, or to cut and color their hair, but would rather use a one-size fits all estate planning software or website rather than hiring a lawyer. The fact is that an experienced estate planning attorney can help you consider your unique situation, to realize things that might not even be on your radar and can ultimately offer a customized solution meant to serve your situation and enact your wishes. Having an estate plan in place is one of those crucial elements that too many people put off until it’s too late and the unexpected has happened.
If you need the help of a Texas estate planning attorney as you create a will, then the team at Fears Nachawati is here to help. Our team has helped thousands of Texans create their wills and to fully consider the wide range of possibilities which are often overlooked. For your free, no obligation consultation please call please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.