While it is not fun to think about, it is important to give careful consideration to your will and other aspects of estate planning. You probably understand the importance of a will, but many people do not give other estate planning questions too much thought. Consider these questions:
- When was the last time you updated your will?
- Have you considered who would make medical and financial decisions for you if you were suddenly incapacitated?
- What if your parents or grandparents could no longer care for themselves and need a guardian?
- What if they pass away? What do you need to do as the executor of their will?
The Arlington probate and estate planning attorneys at Landrith & Kulesz, LLP. can help you address these questions and more. We are here to help you, whether you have learned you are the executor of a family member’s estate or you just want to plan for your own future. Give us a call today to schedule a time to discuss your needs with a probate or estate planning lawyer.
What do I need to know about estate planning in Arlington, Texas?
Estate planning is much more than just having a will in place. We can help you understand all aspects of the estate planning process, and address the ones you feel are important for your family. Often this involves:
Simple Wills or Wills with Trusts
Your will helps protect your family’s financial future by distributing your property and resources in the way you want after your death. To make this process easier, we can set up a trust. This allows your family members to gain access to the assets they inherit more quickly after you pass, without having to attend a probate court proceeding.
Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney authorizes a family member or other named individual (i.e., the agent) to make certain key decisions about your medical treatment and care if you cannot make the decision on your own.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney is similar to a medical power of attorney, only it allows your family member to make decisions about your accounts if you are not able.
Sometimes referred to as a living will, a Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates is a document outlining your end-of-life wishes. For example, many people do not want to be on a ventilator when there is little chance of recovery.
How can I appoint a guardian for a family member in Texas?
Texas allows courts to appoint guardians for those under age 18, and those who cannot care for themselves because of age or illness. Texas appoints two different types of guardians: one for the person and one for the estate.
As you can probably guess, the guardian of the person ensures the health and well-being of her ward, including making medical decisions and helping with personal care. A guardian of the estate oversees the assets and accounts of his ward, helping her pay bills and manage financial matters.
In many cases, the guardian of the estate is the same family member who serves as the guardian of the person.
The only way you can assume legal guardianship under Texas law is to request it and have the court grant it to you. If the person is over age 18, you will need to show the court why they require special supervision. This will likely require presenting the ward’s medical records or interviewing an expert witness to explain his special needs. We have the resources and experience to help you navigate this process, and get your loved one the care he needs.
How can an estate planning lawyer help me with estate administration and probate?
Even with a will, the probate process is often complicated. This process pays off a person’s debts using assets from the estate, then distributes any money or items left according to the will or state law. Unless there is a trust in place to ensure friends and family members receive access to the assets they inherit, probate court proceedings, which can take months, are necessary.
On the surface, this process seems simple, but there are a number of state laws directing how you must navigate these procedures. For this reason, you should consider discussing your situation with a probate attorney before beginning these proceedings. This is the best way to ensure the distribution of assets goes according to your loved one’s wishes.
Call the probate and estate planning team at Landrith & Kulesz, LLP today.
You can reach the probate and estate planning attorneys at Landrith & Kulesz, LLP by calling our Arlington-area office today. Schedule a time to talk with us about your estate planning needs or questions about the probate process.