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Seguin Estate Planning Law Blog

Planning as a parent includes estate planning

Texas parents often have a number of responsibilities that they need to address. Most of those tasks involve caring for their children themselves, but they may also find themselves needing to consider a time when they may not be able to care for their kids. It is an unfortunate reality that parents, even new ones, can suffer incapacitating or even fatal injuries or illnesses. Because no one is immune, it is wise for parents to start estate planning.

An estate plan can help parents detail how they want many affairs handled. For instance, if a person suffers a serious medical event that leaves him or her incapacitated, the decisions regarding that parent's care should not be left up in the air. Fortunately, parents can use a health care proxy in order to have someone in charge of medical decisions, and they can also appoint a power of attorney agent to handle financial needs of the kids.

Probate issues can arise if appointed parties do not seek help

In a best case scenario, a deceased loved one will have created a comprehensive estate plan to indicate his or her wishes to a surviving Texas family. While this plan can help individuals understand what steps to take to settle affairs and complete probate, it may also mean that that several people will need to step into important roles. While these individuals can be helpful, conflict can sometimes also arise.

The biggest issue that may come about with this type of scenario is having multiple people whose jobs overlap. When this happens, there may be conflicting views at work in regard to how a certain issue should be addressed. If so, proceedings could potentially come to a halt as any disputes or problems are addressed.

Estate planning does not have to be intimidating

Many people may have a number of reasons to put off thinking about their end-of-life affairs. For some, they may feel intimidated by the estate planning process, and they are not alone. It is common for people in Texas and across the country to feel that creating an estate plan will be too hard, but fortunately, that does not have to be the case.

Estate planning can take time. After all, individuals have a considerable number of personal aspects to consider. However, when it comes to creating a will and using other planning tools, parties do not have to feel put off by the fact that they do not understand what the documents may encompass. There are several types of professionals -- such as financial planners and attorneys -- who could help interested individuals understand their circumstances and how planning tools could work for them.

Divorce may mean getting back into estate planning

People in Texas and around the world experience a variety of changes throughout their lives. Because of this reason, it is important for individuals to remember to update their estate plans. In particular, going through a divorce gives a number of reasons why jumping back into estate planning could prove vastly important.

One of the first steps a person may want to take is update his or her will. Many individuals choose to name their spouses as the executors of their estates, and after deciding to divorce, it is likely that most people do not want an ex-spouse to still hold that role. The updating of wills could also change beneficiary designations if a spouse was specifically named to inherit certain property.

Because property value changes, wills often need updates

Having an estate plan means that individuals can look ahead and determine how they want certain aspects of their remaining affairs handled after their deaths. Because property distribution is often a main concern after the passing of Texas loved ones, it can prove immensely useful when wills have been created. Of course, individuals may find it useful to review their documents periodically.

Creating a will in the first place is certainly more beneficial than having no plan at all. However, if a person has the desire for a will to make sure a certain goal is reached, it is important that the document does not have mistakes. Because aspects of life and value of property can change over time, a once error-free plan could develop issues.

Long-term care planning could help individuals fund future care

There are many financial milestones that individuals will face in life. In some instances, those milestones may be exciting, like buying a new car or home, and in others, those times could feel like a burden, such as needing money for long-term care. In the latter cases, Texas residents may be better able to protect themselves if they make efforts with long\-term care planning.

By planning ahead, individuals may be able to bypass much of the panic that could come along with needing funds for extended care. It may prove wise for any adult to consider this need, as most older individuals will need care, especially those over the age of 85. Because parties who have reached retirement live on a fixed income, they may struggle financially in the event of an emergency.

Estate planning may be more successful with family discussions

Estate plans can have many beneficial purposes, but they can also prove less helpful than desired in some cases. Estate planning itself can have certain complications, but Texas residents could also hinder their plans' usefulness if they do not let their families in on the details of those plans. Without discussion, issues could arise after a person's death.

The results of one recent survey indicated that 40 percent of parents did not talk about their estate plans with their children. The reasons for not sharing this information can differ from person to person, but it often proves more beneficial to discuss the details of the plans, especially with individuals who are set to inherit a portion of the estate. Many estate plans have more negative outcomes than hoped because people who inherit money simply do not know how to handle the funds successfully.

Investigate area care services as part of long-term care planning

Suffering from a serious illness or injury at any age can have dire results. In some cases, these issues can even become incapacitating or otherwise leave Texas residents in need of extended care. Because of this possibility, long\-term care planning could be wise for anyone.

Often, by the time individuals find themselves in need of care, it can be too late for them to make decisions in regard to how that care should be handled. By starting early, parties may have the ability to thoroughly review the care services in their areas and determine which they may prefer. This ability could also help them gain an idea of how much those services may cost, which could also come in handy when planning ahead.

Even a simple will could benefit from periodic updates

Taking the time to create an estate plan is often a worthwhile action. Even a simple will can help surviving loved ones through the probate process and in handling other important tasks associated with the passing of a family member. However, Texas residents will certainly want to ensure that their documents do not hold any outdated information.

As part of a will, individuals can name beneficiaries to receive assets, an executor to handle probate and make other appointments. While naming these parties can make a will stronger, issues could arise if the information becomes outdated. For instance, if any of the appointed or designated people pass away or become incapacitated, new appointments may need to be made. Otherwise, an estate plan may not be as helpful as desired.

Estate planning can address most any personal affair

Creating an estate plan is a very personal experience, and it is also an experience that every Texas adult should undertake. Because estate planning tools can be used in order to address a great number of life aspects and be tailored to individuals' specific needs, it does not matter whether a person has a considerable number of assets or just a few sentimental items. An estate plan can go far beyond asset distribution.

Of course, the distribution of property after death remains a considerable concern for most people. As a result, they may want to ensure that they create a will to detail how they want their property distributed, no matter how extensive. Additionally, wills can also have other uses, such as for naming guardians for children.

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