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Texas Estate Planning
If you are a Texas resident who is at least 18 years old (or in the armed forces) and "of sound mind," you can legally create a last will and testament. However, the majority of adults haven't created a will. Instead, people think they'll do it at a later point in life or that it's unnecessary. But almost all adults can benefit from a will. Talk to an estate planning attorney today to find out how estate planning can help you and your family.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the term used to describe the area of law concerned with the organization and distribution of one's estate (the assets that remain after a person passes away) as well as other legal, financial and medical aspects of a person's life.
The most common estate planning tools are:
- The last will and testament, which is a set of instructions explaining how your estate is to be distributed after your death. The will is also used to name a legal guardian for your minor children and to name an executor who is responsible for carrying out a last will's instructions after you pass away.
- A living trust is a legal entity into which you can transfer ownership of your assets. While you are alive, you can freely use the assets, but after your death, those assets pass on to heirs or beneficiaries according to a pre-determined set of instructions. Because it operates outside of the probate system, a living trust offers the advantages of speed and greater privacy over a last will and testament.
- A financial power of attorney (POA) allows you to name an attorney in fact to serve as your representative when handling certain legal and financial matters. A POA may be broadly written (for example, giving your attorney in fact authority to sign contracts and write checks on your financial accounts) or very narrow (authorizing your attorney in fact to perform one task on a certain day). The POA becomes null and void upon your death.
- A healthcare power of attorney lets you name a surrogate to make medical decisions on your behalf if you're unable to communicate.
- A living will is used to explain your end-of-life treatment wishes, including how much pain medicine you'd like to receive, whether you should be kept on life support and if you want healthcare professionals to revive you if you go into cardiac arrest.
Find & Hire Local Texas Estate Planning Attorneys
An estate planning lawyer can review your specific situation, help determine your estate planning needs, and recommend tools and other strategies that are appropriate for your situation. For assistance locating estate planning lawyers and probate attorneys in your area, contact Attorneys.com at 877-913-7222 or complete the form on this page. Whether you live in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth or elsewhere in Texas, we can quickly connect you with local lawyers.