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.
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.
In Texas and anywhere else, elderly family members sometimes die without leaving all of the pertinent information to guide their heirs in processing matters as they would have wished. There are matters, such as papers relating to the right to a military burial, that may be never passed on to assure that such a burial occurs. One woman's right to have her remains cremated and scattered at sea was never confirmed prior to death. Special circumstances like these must be incorporated into estate planning documentation and discussed with family members during the loved one's life.
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.
When moving from one state to another, it’s wise to have estate planning documents checked for compliance with the new state’s laws. Although most of those estate planning documents should remain effective in a move, it’s nonetheless prudent to have everything reviewed in the context of the procedures and laws in the new state. The old saying, “When in Rome do as the Romans do,” may actually make some sense in this situation. Therefore, if the move is to Texas, it’s recommended to find out how it’s done here.
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.
Estate planning is an important function for most families. Estate planning allows Texas residents to designate how their assets are to be distributed and to whom. There are certain recommended steps to be taken for an estate plan.
Texas residents without a living will may not be aware of the importance of having a plan in place, or they may feel like this type of plan can wait for when they are old or sick. At any time, an individual may end up in a situation where he or she is incapacitated and unable to make health care decisions. Therefore, having a living will can be helpful to the individual as well as his or her loved ones.