7 Estate Planning Tips to Put Your Mind at Ease
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
This quote could not be more accurate when it comes to estate planning. Preparation is key to a healthy estate and will make the transition of your assets to your loved ones much easier when the time comes. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of 7 easy steps to help out with getting your estate in order long before your twilight years.
Consult your Texas Estate-Planning Attorney
This is a no-brainer. Taking the time to meet and speak with your local Texas estate planning attorney is going to help start the process of getting your estate in order. Trying to create your own estate plan and will is going to take time, effort, and possibly more money than it would take if you were to just reach out to a qualified attorney. We service multiple areas of Texas, including Frisco, Allen, and Dallas, and are well versed in all aspects of what your estate needs.
Avoid Expensive Probate by Setting Up a Trust
Trusts, while more expensive to create, can save you and your heirs’ money, time, and hardship later down the road. Wills are required to go through probate upon your death and require a court-supervised guardianship proceeding, which can be costly and time-consuming. Since living trusts hold the title to a person’s financial account and have an independent executor, the process is generally done with minimal court supervision. Additionally, with a will and a court-supervised probate proceeding, an inventory of your estate will become a matter of public record. A living trust will keep that privately managed and hidden from the public’s eye.
Choose an Executor of Your Estate
This is critical. Choosing the executor of your estate is a big decision, and discussion with that person is key to ensuring they have your estate’s best interest at heart. You can also create a power of attorney, which is a legal document in which you, called the principal, gives another person like a family member, friend, or acquaintance, called the agent, the power to manage various aspects of your life and estate. Make sure that you are giving your power of attorney to someone who is impartial. This way, you can be assured that the decisions made for you are in your best interest.
Declare Who Gets What
This probably will not be the easiest set of conversations you have, but they are extremely important to have. Designating who gets what assets is going to help avoid contention later when you are not around. Your family will avoid potential conflicts later and also reduce legal fees and time.
Choose How Your Money Will Be Spent
Maybe you want to earmark your money for specific things like college for your children or a trust fund for when a family member turns a certain age. This is incredibly forward thinking and will help frivolous spending of your estate from happening. Your Dallas, Texas estate lawyer can help you designate a trustee, who will be legally bound to ensure that the designated amounts are used to cover these expenses.