Courtesy The Ashmore Law Firm, P.C.
Are you making sure your assets are protected while you are alive and are you conserving them and controlling their distribution after you are gone?
It is not an easy topic to discuss much less think about, but remember it is easier to think about it when you are in good health. By setting your estate plan aside, you are not helping yourself or your family.
By keeping this item at the bottom of your “to do” list and doing nothing you are creating your estate plan. It is what we call the “no plan” estate plan. The “no plan” estate plan could work, but it will not be you or your family who controls anything. It will be the State of Texas and the Court who takes control and makes all of the decisions.
There are a few basic questions to ask yourself to get started on your plan:
- What are your assets?
- What is the approximate value of your assets?
- Who do you want to manage your assets if you are not able to during your lifetime or after your death?
- Who do you want to get your assets after your death?
- Who do you want to take care of your minor children if you become incapacitated or upon your death?
- If you are not able to take care of yourself who do you want to make your medical decisions?
These are all very basic questions and careful thought should be given to avoid the pitfalls of probate. By answering these simple questions, you are on your way to preparing your estate plan.
Preparing Your Estate Plan
People think of an estate plan as something you do when you are old or on your deathbed. Others think it is only needed if you have a lot of money. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT THE CASE. You need an estate plan in some form or fashion when you become an adult at the age of eighteen. That’s right, even at the age of eighteen you need to begin to answer some of the basic questions stated above.
The first thing you need to do is talk to a qualified estate planning attorney who will be able to look at your answers and appropriately draft all of the necessary documents for your estate plan.
If you already have an estate plan, we urge you to review it annually to make sure it still meets all of your wishes and the wishes of the Federal Government.
Do your heirs a favor and get your estate plan in order – the “No Plan” estate plan is not the way to go.
To learn more, visit www.ashmorelaw.com