What Services are Included in Estate Planning?

No matter where you find yourself in life, planning for the future is important. Whether your family is just beginning to grow, or you are moving into retirement, estate planning is a way to protect your wishes and your legacy. Whatever your financial status or age, your assets should be protected during the best and worst of times and distributed according to your wishes after your death. This is all part of estate planning. Whatever your concerns, estate attorneys offer a wide range of estate planning tools and services.

Basic Estate Planning Services

  • Wills
  • Power of Attorney
  • Medical Durable Power of Attorney
  • Trusts

Wills and How They Work

A will lists all your assets from vacation homes to sentimental items, to bank accounts. It also lists the beneficiaries who receive them after you die. In it, you name an executor, someone you trust to see that your wishes are carried out. A will also lists guardians for minor children, who receives special items, and a host of other directives. Creating a will is one of the most critical things you can do for loved ones. Putting your wishes on paper helps your heirs avoid unnecessary legal and familial hassles; you gain the peace of mind of knowing that a life’s worth of money, investments, and possessions will end up in the right hands.

Trusts and How They Work

If you have a significant amount of assets a trust may be appropriate. A revocable living trust designates portions of your estate to certain recipients while you’re alive. If you become ill or incapacitated, a trustee, named by you, takes over and manages the estate. An irrevocable trust protects assets from creditors and lawsuits and reduces estate taxes. Should you file bankruptcy or default on a debt, assets in an irrevocable trust won’t be included in bankruptcy or other court proceedings.

Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney allows someone else to manage your financial affairs if you’re unable to do so. Your designated agent, as named in the document, acts on your behalf in legal and financial situations when you can’t. This includes paying your bills and taxes, as well as accessing and managing your assets.

A medical power of attorney, also known as a living will, spells out your wishes for medical care if you are unable to make those decisions yourself. You can also designate a trustee to manage your medical power of attorney. Doing so gives that person the authority to make decisions when you become incapacitated. The document is also referred to as an advance health care directive.

Estate planning can be complex and subject to Texas state laws. While online forms seem straightforward, they may not reflect the personal and financial nuances of your particular situation. Is a trust necessary? Is my will iron-clad? Does the wording in my powers of attorney cover everything?

Contact Our Offices Today!

There’s a lot to consider. Get your estate plan going now. Let the experienced attorneys at The Voeller Law Firm help you create a plan tailored to your needs and wishes. Consultations are free. The Voeller Law Firm, located at 19311, FM 2252, Suite 103, San Antonio, Texas 78266. (210) 651-3851

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    Voeller Law Firm

    A law practice limited to estate planning, elder law planning, probate and business planning. Through seminars and free initial consultations, the lawyers at the Voeller Law Firm can help area residents and businesses evaluate their legal needs and determine what their options are.