One of the most neglected areas in people’s lives is the drafting of their estate plans. Many feel having a will or a trust is a luxury item, or something to do when you’re older and have significant amounts of assets. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, even if you don’t have many assets, it is wise to have your estate plan put together for many reasons. Some of the big reasons of why you should have an estate plan, regardless of your “wealth” are:
You have children under the age of 18 or special needs children.
If you have children under the age of 18 or special needs children, an estate plan offers you the ability to list your choices for who will take care of your children in the event that you and your spouse are unable to care for them or you have died.
You have a blended family.
If you have remarried and have a blended family, your spouse may not automatically have rights to care for your children if you have died. Further, without a will, none of your estate will go to your spouse’s children — so if you want to treat your spouse’s children as if they were your own, you must have a will.
You may need someone to take care of you and your affairs when you are alive.
Estate plans include many ancillary documents, such as living wills (medical directives), durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and declaration of guardian. These documents set forth your wishes for the management of your affairs if you are alive, but incapacitated.
You care about who gets your “stuff.”
In the absence of a will in Texas, the state decides who receives your assets. If you want to direct who receives your assets, it’s important to have a will.
You want the people you leave behind to have as easy a time as possible after you’ve died.
If you have a will, Texas has one of the simplest, cheapest, and quickest probate processes in the country. In the absence of a will, this process can become exponentially more difficult and costly.
You want to give to your favorite charity.
Whether you have descendants still living, or not, many people have one or more charities that they wish to leave something to. By leaving a charitable bequest in your will, you can fulfill these desires without losing the benefit of the asset while you’re alive.
If you want to discuss what options you have for your estate planning needs, please contact Hardesty law Office for a consultation,