A will plays a large part in letting everyone know your wishes when you can’t be there to make decisions. Even if you don’t have many assets, a will can save your family frustration, money and heartache.
things to consider when drawing up your will
Choose an executor.
It’s good to ask your executor if they are comfortable with this role beforehand, keeping in mind that it is a weighty responsibility.
Make a list.
Make sure to include all of your investments and valuable assets. This makes your will easier to administer.
Make your intentions clear.
Outline how you want your assets and/or property to be distributed.
Address funeral arrangements.
Funerals can be traumatic for loved ones, so the more instructions you leave, the easier it will be for your family. This should include the kind of funeral arrangements you would like, and how related expenses are to be paid.
Store your will in a safe place.
Make sure it is easily accessible and let several people know where it can be found if needed.
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn’t only for the wealthy. Middle-class families also need to have a plan in place if the family’s breadwinner (or breadwinners) should pass away or become incapacitated. Our goal is for you and your family to know exactly what it will cost to create the plan that works for you by the end of the initial consultation. The initial consultation is free.
Understanding the estate planning options that are right for you can be a complex undertaking. The professionals at Weisinger Law Firm are ready to help you identify your estate planning needs, recognize potential solutions, and assist you at every step of the estate planning process.
things to consider outside your will
Small business or partnership
What will happen to your business if you pass away or become incapacitated? Do you have a plan in place to protect it? This may be subject to a buy/sell arrangement with the other partners. In these circumstances your share of the business would automatically pass to the remaining partners (usually in exchange for the proceeds of an insurance policy).
Make sure that your beneficiary designations on bank accounts, life insurance policies and investments align with your wishes in your overall estate plan.
Powers of Attorney
This is a legal document that appoints another person to make legal and/or medical decisions on your behalf. It is particularly useful should something happen, like a bad accident, to make you temporarily unable to sign documents.
Do you need a testamentary trust?
This is a trust created in a person’s will, which is activated upon that person’s death. Instead of assets passing directly from one person to another, the assets are passed to the testamentary trust and then administered by the designated trustee – usually a family member, trustee, accountant, or attorney.
The Directive to Physicians is most commonly known as a Living Will. This document allows you to direct your physician to comply with your wishes concerning end-of-life treatment. This document allows you to state whether or not you want the doctors to continue to provide life-sustaining treatment if you are suffering from a terminal condition or an irreversible condition.
Terminal condition means an incurable condition caused by injury, disease, or illness that according to reasonable medical judgment will produce death within six months, even with available life-sustaining treatment provided in accordance with the prevailing standard of medical care.
Irreversible Condition means a condition, injury, or illness that may be treated (but is never cured or eliminated), and leaves a person unable to care for or make decisions for themselves; and that, without life-sustaining treatment provided in accordance with the prevailing standard of medical care, is fatal.
The main difference is that terminal means 6 months or less, whereas irreversible has no time limit. A person would be able to live indefinitely with an irreversible condition as long as they receive the necessary medical treatment.
The Last Will and Testament is a legal document that has several jobs. It allows you to control how your estate or probate assets will be distributed after you pass away. It also appoints the person who will administer your estate, and lastly, it names a guardian for any minor children you may have.
Probate assets can include your home, vehicles, cash, bank accounts, business interests, and all of your personal property. The Last Will and Testament also enables you to appoint a guardian for your minor children as well as provide instructions and set aside funds for the care of any pets you may have. If you die without a valid Will, your property will be distributed by a court-appointed administrator according to a pre-determined formula (defined by the State of Texas). Without a Will, you can’t give your property to a non-relative or even exclude certain relatives. If you have no Will and there are no relatives at the time of your death, your property will go to the state.
You may not feel you have enough property to need a Will, but it is good for anyone over the age of 18 to have one. There are several different types of Wills that are available depending on your specific situation. You may need a simple Will. However, there are times a more complex Will is needed, such as, when you have a special needs child . Let us get to know you and your specific situation before we recommend a plan for you.
One thing is certain, you will not leave our office without a better understanding of your situation and what we can do to help you achieve Peace Through Planning.® We will make sure you have peace of mind by knowing that your family has certainty and clarity about your wishes in the event you are no longer here.