Wills Archives

Estate planning is critical if long-term disability approaches

Estate planning can be critical for those facing a gradually increasing medical disability. That was the unfortunate situation for a Texas couple in their early seventies. The husband had been in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease for several years, which gave them time to make sure that they updated and maximized necessary estate planning protections.

Estate planning documents should be reviewed periodically

There are numerous reasons for an individual to review his or her estate plan periodically for changes, additions, subtractions or modifications. This is true for residents of Texas as well as those who reside in other states. Estate planning is an exceptionally beneficial legal process. It serves to protect and assure the wishes of the individual, along with maximizing resources and utilizing the options available for effective tax planning.

End-of-life directives can be included in estate planning

Texas residents may agree that death planning ranks high on any person’s list of difficult things to do. However, taking care of it as part of one’s estate planning may be the only way to have some degree of control over the end of one’s own life. Such planning may also save an individual’s loved ones from having to make difficult decisions after one’s death. Although it is not an easy discussion to have, one’s preferences in different situations that may occur should be discussed and recorded. Such records should be available to one’s next of kin when drafted, as it could be too late to perform many of the instructions therein if found after one’s death.

Action steps will get estate planning process up and running

In most cases, changes in tax laws have lessened the need to make tax planning the main focus of an estate plan. Other issues have more importance to most people. Regardless of tax planning, there are some basic rules to follow in the estate planning process, whether a person resides in Texas or another state.

Living will remains a popular directive for the elderly

According to recent research, a majority of elderly people have executed an advance health care directive. The one most popular with the elderly is the living will. This is an estate planning document signed by the individual while alive, in which he or she directs health care providers what to do in case of terminal illness, brain death and similar end-of-life circumstances. There is legislation authorizing the use of a living will in all states, including Texas.

Estate planning relies on certain basic documents

Experts generally recommend certain basic documents to prepare for one's later years and for distribution of one's estate at death. These estate planning tools are a simple will, durable power of attorney, advanced medical directives, a living trust and a letter of instructions. The same instruments are generally necessary in Texas and all other states.

Simple will and estate planning docs need regular tune-ups

It's advisable to keep one's estate planning documents up-to-date by taking them in for regular checkups with an experienced estate planning attorney. Some of the documents in one's plan may be a simple will, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, a living will and a revocable trust. A legal instrument may need changes when time and circumstances cause new configurations. The principles and procedures are generally the same in Texas and elsewhere.

The differences between a will and a trust

Many people who are unfamiliar with estate planning know that there is a difference between a will and a trust, but they aren’t sure what that difference is or how it applies to their estate. This post will provide a brief explanation both of wills and trusts, as well as some potential benefits and draw backs to each.

Contact Kolb & Murray, P.C., at 830-386-4801 to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced law firm devoted to serving you, your family and your business.

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