Because all Texas residents' lives are unique, each individual's estate plan also differs from all others. Therefore, parties who are considering their estate planning options may wish to understand that there is no single way that counts as the right way to plan. Some individuals may find a simple approach adequate, while others may need multiple documents and planning tools to express their end-of-life wishes.
If individuals would like to take steps beyond simply creating a will, they may want to explore the various types of trusts. In many cases, a trust can help individuals protect assets from probate, estate taxes or loss of property due to legal settlements. Parties can choose to have a revocable or irrevocable trust depending on which better suits their needs and desires.
Powers of attorney and health care proxies may also be of interest to some people. A power of attorney allows an individual to appoint an agent to attend to his or her financial matters in the event that the individual becomes incapacitated. Similarly, a health care proxy appoints a party to make medical-related decisions. Additional instructions on a variety of topics may also be part of an estate plan.
Estate planning is a very personal process, and therefore, individuals may wish to fully assess their circumstances, needs and wants when it comes to their end-of-life affairs. Additional information on various planning options may help Texas residents determine which tools could help them achieve their goals. Interested parties should speak with experienced attorneys who could offer guidance throughout the process.
Source: recordonline.com, "Bonnie Kraham: Elder Law Estate Plan documents", Bonnie Kraham, Feb. 9, 2017