Why Estate Planning Is Important
A 2022 Caring.com survey found that while 50% of Americans think estate planning is at least somewhat important, only 33% of them actually have a will or living trust in place. Many of them claimed to not have a will because they believed they did not have enough assets to leave behind. The idea that estate planning is only for the wealthy is extremely common, however, it could not be further from the truth.
As an estate planning attorney, I’ve seen firsthand the peace of mind an estate plan can provide to a person and their loved ones. Contact my office in Corpus Christi, Texas, today to learn more about the process. At my firm, I proudly serve clients in the Coastal Bend area and throughout South Texas.
Why Create an Estate Plan?
Any person, no matter what their financial situation looks like, can benefit from estate planning. By creating a comprehensive estate plan, you can help your family avoid probate and give them a clear roadmap for how to settle your affairs once you’ve passed away.
Protect Your Beneficiaries & Your Assets
One of the main tasks of estate planning is deciding how you would like your assets distributed to your family members and other beneficiaries. In order to ensure your family is set up for success once you’re gone, it is imperative that you draft a document, like a will, that states exactly how you want your property divided. Doing so can help prevent any confusion or conflicts between your beneficiaries. The following are examples of assets you can include in your will:
Cash from bank accounts
Real estate properties
Stocks, bonds, and other intangible personal properties
Valuable items, such as cars, artwork, jewelry, clothing, and furniture
If you fail to designate heirs, the division of your assets may be left up to the courts.
Appoint a Guardian for Your Children
To be sure custody of your children (if they are under the age of 18) is granted to someone you trust, be sure to name them as a guardian. Like asset distribution, decisions regarding the guardianship of minors will be left to the courts if it is not addressed in your estate plan.
Assign Power of Attorney
Should you even become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, you’ll need someone to act on your behalf. In a document known as a power of attorney, you can legally authorize a person, or persons, to make decisions regarding your health, finances, and property.
Texas law recognizes multiple types of powers of attorney, including durable powers of attorney and springing powers of attorney. Schedule a consultation today to learn which ones might be right for you.
What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Texas?
If you die without a will in Texas, many of your assets will go through probate court and be distributed to your close relatives under the state’s intestate succession laws. Intestate succession affects only assets that are normally found in a will. If you had assets with previously designated beneficiaries, like life insurance proceeds or payable-on-death bank accounts, those assets would not be subject to intestate succession.
Start Planning for the Future Today
It is never too soon to start crafting your estate plan. If you have assets, children, or other loved ones you want to protect, get in touch with me, Attorney Russell Manning. I am ready to walk you through your options when it comes to estate planning and help you put your final wishes in order.
I work with clients located in the Coastal Bend area and throughout South Texas, including Bee County, Kleberg County, Nueces County, and Live Oak County. If you’re looking to start the estate planning process, contact my office in Corpus Christi today to schedule a consultation.