Family members will greatly benefit from discussing how they may handle future caregiving issues regarding an aging parent. This is best done prior to any problems occurring, and may result in cutting down on stress, lost time and money in future years when health problems do begin to occur. Planning out the role of each family member if future long-term care needs arise is a part of the estate planning process, both in Texas and elsewhere.
When a Texas couple goes through a divorce, a number of tasks must be accomplished in the transition from one household into two. Estate planning is one of those items, and one that should rank near the top of any post-divorce to-do list. Newly divorced spouses will want to set aside the time to sit down and ensure that their estate planning documents are in line with their current wants and needs.
It is prudent to take the steps to create an estate plan early on so that everything will be prepared in case some untimely health problem arises in one's later years. If a person becomes disabled and unable to care for his or her own financial affairs, there are critical estate planning tools here in Texas and in other jurisdictions that should be in place. Thus, for example, a power of attorney giving authority to the maker's chosen representative, if put in place early enough in life, will assure that the right person will be taking care of one's affairs.
One of the most compelling reasons to do estate planning is that it can save thousands of dollars prior to and after death. However, it's not something to do with some pumped-up forms on the Internet. A Texas resident will always do better by using experienced professional assistance in estate planning matters that involve the application of the law to one's personal and financial circumstances.
The federal estate tax does not kick in unless a person's estate is worth more than $5,340,000. Most people do not have to worry too much about the federal estate tax, therefore, when they do their estate planning. However, some states have an inheritance or death tax that applies to estates of a far lower value. Texas currently does not have an inheritance or estate tax, but there is always a possibility of change, so that it is advisable to check with an estate attorney to find out of whether there is an inheritance tax in the state.
Estate planning in Texas includes the area of making medical decisions for your loved one in the event of incapacity. Advanced directives are used to provide guidance for medical decisions after incapacitation and the inability of the loved to communicate his or her own wishes. One commonly used directive is the living will. It's important to remember that this and other directives should be discussed with the loved one while still alert and communicative so as to assure his or her wishes are carried out.
Due to medical advances and active lifestyles, many Texas residents look forward to living to a ripe old age. Even so, unexpected events can occur that can change everything. Without a living will, family members may never know what their loved one would have wanted when it comes to making end-of-life decisions. With the recent death of Joan Rivers, many people may be rethinking their estate plans.
When it comes to talking about creating a will, many people in Texas may shy away from the subject and prefer to talk about more lighthearted topics. Putting together a will, however, is essential for making sure that one’s earthly possessions are passed on to the right individuals when one dies. It also helps to prevent discord among surviving family members -- discord that can alter family relationships permanently.
Estate planning in Texas is an essential tool to distribute your estate, no matter how large or small, in the way that you want and to the people that you choose. Complications can arise if one does not put estate planning into place. For example, bickering among relatives may occur after death where there is nothing to guide them as to your intentions.
Because an estate plan in Texas and elsewhere consists of a variety of “legal instruments” that must pass muster under state law, it’s best to give up any thoughts of doing them yourself. Consider working with professionals to get your estate planning done as a classic ‘team effort’ geared toward accuracy and legal compliance. It’s true that estate planning also seeks to maximize the value of the estate’s assets, and to minimize tax drains, and these efforts are included in the process.