Livens & Reed, PLLC

Crucial estate planning documents for Texas grantors to include

Regardless of how many assets a person has, there should be a set of instructions in place for surviving family members in the event of an individual's death. Estate planning sets out a road map of a Texas estate owner's wishes while designating appropriate beneficiaries. There are essential documents to be included in estate plans.

One of the most essential documents to be included in an estate plan is a Durable Power of Attorney. A person who is given power of attorney has permission to make financial and legal decisions on a grantor's behalf in case of impairment. It's important for individuals to choose someone who is trustworthy and loyal. In addition, it is beneficial to choose someone to act as a backup just in case. Another power of attorney that is just as important is a medical power of attorney.

This gives someone authority to make medical decisions on a grantor's behalf, particularly during medical crisis. Another essential document to include in an estate plan is a will. A will lays out how a grantor wants his or her wishes to be carried out. A will also names guardians and eliminates the need for the state to decide on how assets should be distributed. In any case, it is vital to have an executor who will be responsible for the estate.

Proper estate planning can offer estate owners and beneficiaries a peace of mind. Without a will, the state is left to decide how assets are distributed and to whom. While having these important documents may be crucial, learning the proper procedures can help Texas estate owners streamline the process.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Four Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Have", Tom Lauricella, April 20, 2014

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