Reasons for Having an Estate Planning Attorney

Estate Planning

Estate planning is hard to think about. Putting it off isn't, especially when downloading documents or hiring an online service to do it for you seems so enticing. However, estate planning in Texas is complex and the people behind online services may not be Texas attorneys. It’s too risky to rely on them. If a mistake renders your will invalid, the state, or someone you don't know, will distribute your estate. In order to avoid this, you should seriously consider an estate planning attorney.

An estate planning attorney's goal is to work with you now so that your wishes are carried out as smoothly as possible before and after your death. This involves various documents. After discussing your family, finances, and other circumstances, he or she will help you draw up whatever documents you need to make sure your wishes are clear and concise. There are various documents to consider:

  • The Last Will and Testament-The Last Will and Testament itself names the executor, or person in charge of gathering up your assets, paying off any debts, and distributing your estate to the persons named in the will. It names a guardian for any minor children, as well as all beneficiaries. An estate planning/probate attorney will be a big help to the executor in navigating the probate process. Probate in Texas is a very quick, simple process IF you have a valid will.
  • Trusts – Estate planning attorneys are able to draw up any trusts necessary concerning your care or that of your finances or property, such as revocable or irrevocable trusts and trusts dealing with minor children.
  • Healthcare Directives –Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, and Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) documents. Estate planning attorneys can guide you as you go through these emotional areas. Having these documents may keep your family from having to get a guardianship on you if you are incapacitated. Guardianship is the last thing you want because they are hugely cumbersome and expensive.
  • Business owners – Estate planning attorneys can advise business owners with such things as valuation, succession planning, and taxes, among other important issues.

You want to make sure every issue is covered with no mistakes. Making your plan with an estate planning attorney will give you a sense of wellbeing knowing you’re not leaving a big, expensive mess for your family.