Those residing in Texas who take pride in having a growing asset base and a secure financial life will likely also be inclined to plan for their estates. These matters are best coordinated into an organic whole, connected together. Estate planning can set one’s finances on the right path and give the peace of mind that comes with knowing that one’s loved ones are protected.
In order to connect one’s estate plan with a financial plan, the first thing to do is to get an estate plan process started. The first step is to select the professionals who will guide the process forward in accordance with the person’s best interests and wishes. With a relatively high-end asset base, it may be prudent to have both a tax expert and a certified financial planner on board.
The estate planning attorney will sit at the hub of the process and will become knowledgeable on all of the details of the person’s financial life. The attorney will also gain an intimate realization of the client’s goals for life and for the well-being of his or her loved ones. Some of the documents discussed will be a will, a living trust, testamentary trusts, a living will, and one or more different powers of attorney. The will is written to specify the testator’s wishes for disposal of the assets upon death.
The will appoints a trusted person as the executor, also known as the personal representative. A living will dictates what a person wants done in the case of a terminal illness, specifically regarding the use of artificial life-extending machines and other modalities. It also can specify subjects such as donation of body parts and organs to medical science.
In Texas and all other jurisdictions, the powers of attorney are also key documents covered by the estate planning process. They allow for the appointment of an agent to sign one’s name and to conduct business on behalf of the incapacitated person. There is also a power of attorney for health care purposes when the individual is too incapacitated to make or communicate health care decisions and preferences to the medical providers.
Source: Huffington Post, “Why Estate Planning Makes Sense at Any Age“, Nathaniel Sillen, June 8, 2016