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will planning lawyer

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.

Estate planning is for everyone. All families need to have a plan in place if the family’s income(or incomes) should pass away or become incapacitated. We help you and your family know exactly what it will cost to create a personalized plan that works for you by the end of the initial consultation.

While estate planning isn’t one of those things you look forward to 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.

Three Tips for Choosing the Right Executor for a Will in TX

You may be wondering what you should look for in an executor. The person who is the right choice to serve as the executor to your will depends on many different factors, including the complexity of your estate. Below, we’ve provided three things to keep in mind when choosing an executor in Texas:

  1. Pick Someone Reasonably Young, of Good Health, and Local: Ideally, you will want to select an executor who is reasonably young and of good health. Many seniors choose their adult children as their executors. It is also generally best practice to select someone who lives in your same general area.
  2. Ensure the Executor Is Able and Willing: Selecting an executor should be a decision that is discussed with those you would potentially want to administer your estate. During these discussions, you should also make sure they are willing and able to serve in this capacity.
  3. Consider a Professional: You are not required to find a family member or friend to serve as your executor. You may not want to put that responsibility on a family member or friend, and that is okay. There is no need to get overwhelmed by these decisions either. This is where a trusted professional can come into the picture. Our firm has experienced will and estate planning professionals who are ready to assist you.

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).

Non-Probate Transfers

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.

Who Can Serve as an Executor for a Will in Texas?

In Texas, you have wide latitude to select your own executor for your will. You can pick a spouse, an adult child, another family member, a close friend, or a qualified professional. When appointing an executor in Texas, you should keep in mind some necessary requirements set forth under state law. Tex. Est. Code Ann. § 304.003 states that one can serve as an executor in a will if that will states that the person is named as an executor in the will, they are designated as administrators as authorized under Section 254.006 or they are the decedent’s surviving spouse.

The person can also serve as an executor for a will if that person is the next of kin of the decedent, they are a creditor of the decedent, they are a person of good character in the county who applied for the letters, that the person is not disqualified under Section 304.003, and they are any appointed public probate administrator.

While this covers a wide range of qualified people, you should take careful consideration in picking an executor. You need to be sure that you appoint an executor who is willing and able to carry out the potentially complicated task of administering your estate. If you have questions about who could be a candidate to act as an executor, contact our team of will planning attorneys today.

Doctor in scrubs

to physicians

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

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

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.

last will
& testament

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 may name 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.

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