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Estate Planning Facts vs. Myths

What You Need to Know About Estate Planning


Do you ever wonder whether or not you need estate planning? Such a thought is actually important especially if you have a property and personal assets that you would want to bequeath to a loved one.  Some other questions that can also come up are: Do you have children?  Are you married?  Is there any specific person or family member that you wish to inherit your real property? 

Your answers will determine more than half of the decision on whether to start planning now. As such, it pays to read up on estate planning facts and arm yourself with information on completing documents for your family members before it’s too late. It is also highly advisable to talk to a Houston estate planning lawyer about Texas laws that may affect your estate plans.

What you should know about estate planning.

Planning estate is establishing a strategy for dividing your property when you die. Part of estate planning requires deciding ahead of time who will be in control of your medical and financial affairs if you become incompetent and unable to make key decisions for yourself. 

An estate plan is a set of paperwork that specifies how you want your possessions handled when you die. For example, if you did not specify that your property will be inherited by your surviving spouse, probate laws of Texas will apply. Such a proceeding can be very tedious without the help of a competent estate planning attorney. Avoiding probate is certainly one of the objectives that you and your estate planning lawyer should work on to save time and money. Aside from probate,  there are many other nuances in estate planning law that are best discussed with a knowledgeable professional.  

Most Important Roles of an Estate Plan

  1. Safeguards your assets for the benefit of your family (or other heirs)
    An estate plan may operate as a safety net, preserving the value of your assets, reducing disbursement wait periods, and ensuring the legacy you desire is carried out.
  2. Allows you to choose who receives your possessions.
    You can identify your assets, beneficiaries, and executor to carry out your desires after you die by writing a will.
  1. Lets you pick who will make choices for you.

An estate plan frequently includes a durable power of attorney form and a healthcare proxy form – two critical legal forms that guarantee your plan is carried out as you intend. 

A durable power of attorney form selects a trusted family or friend to manage your legal and financial affairs if you become incapacitated. A healthcare proxy form authorizes someone to make healthcare choices on your behalf based on your objectives if you are unable to do so.

Who needs an estate plan?

Everyone Should Plan Their Estate

Estate planning is not only for retirees but also for individuals who tend to worry about their assets as they age. Unfortunately, we cannot foresee how long we will live, and illnesses and accidents occur at all ages.

Estate planning is not exclusive to the rich. However, those who have amassed a fortune may be more concerned with maintaining it. Because the loss of time and money due to inadequate estate planning is more damaging, good estate planning is generally more significant for families with modest holdings. 

What should your estate plan contain?

An estate plan is a collection of documents that instructs others on managing your assets during your lifetime and after your death.

Creating instructions for your financial and medical care if you cannot make such decisions is a component of estate planning.

One or more of the following papers may be part of your estate plan:

Our objective at Chargois Harper is to ensure that your preferences are specified in your estate plan.

Begin Estate Planning Today

  1. Start by compiling a list of all of your financial assets, personal property, and paperwork liabilities.
  2. Look for a highly referred and skilled estate planning attorney in Texas.
  3. Choose (or edit) your beneficiaries.
  4. Review your estate plan frequently.

What are the most widespread estate planning myths?

Being able to tell the difference between reality and fantasy, on the other hand, might make the estate planning process feel more straightforward and manageable. Here are some typical estate planning myths and why they are incorrect:

Myth#1: Estate planning isn’t important until you retire.

This is a prevalent myth. Estate planning does not just belong to the elderly or those ready to retire. People of all ages can benefit from developing an estate plan tailored to their unique needs. Whether you’re in your twenties, forties, or sixties, creating an estate plan will help you gain control over your assets.

Myth #2: I don’t have enough property to require an estate plan.

Many people put off or do not make an estate plan because they believe they do not have enough assets. However, estate planning isn’t only for the wealthy. Whether you have a smaller or larger property, making an estate plan may help in safeguarding your assets and saving your loved ones time and money when you die.

Myth #3: Filling out an internet form is equally as effective as hiring a skilled attorney.

Creating solid estate planning papers necessitates careful planning. Unfortunately, when using an online form, there is no assistance. An attorney can educate you on your available estate planning tools and help you choose the best option for your situation.

Myth #4: I only need a will in my estate plan.

The will isn’t the only form you’ll need as part of your estate planning. Estate planning documents such as trusts, powers of attorney, advanced healthcare directives, beneficiary designations, letters of intent, special needs planning, and guardianship designations are crucial when making sure that you and your loved ones will not suffer additional stress in the event you are incapacitated or after you pass away.

What is the difference between wills and a living trust?

A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your affairs and assets handled when you die.

A trust, like a will, will compel you to distribute property to loved ones after your death. A living trust derives from the fact that it is established while the property owner, or trustor, is still alive. It is revocable because it can be modified at any moment throughout the trustor’s life. While the trustor is alive, the trustor retains ownership of the trust’s property.

Learn More: What types of trusts are accessible to me in Houston, Texas?

How much does it cost to set up a living trust versus a will?

Establishing a trust needs professional legal assistance, which is not inexpensive. A basic living trust can cost $2,000 or more, but a simple last will and testament can be written for under $150.

Why is it important to get help from an experienced estate planner?

A well-organized estate plan will ensure your wishes are followed, and your loved ones can benefit from a well-organized estate plan. Attempting to take care of everything yourself can be very time-consuming and difficult. It is much easier for the attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counsellors at Law to handle these tasks for you.

Also, if you have significant assets, it’s important to have an experienced attorney to help you organize your estate and provide for your family. 

Quite so many individuals do not plan ahead of time.

People are putting off estate planning because they believe they are not old enough, it will be costly or complex, they will have plenty of time to complete it later, they do not know how to start or who can assist them, or they simply do not want to think about it. Then, when something goes wrong, it’s up to their families to pick up the pieces.

Of course, there is no reason to delay planning for the future. Doing nothing is not an option. If you don’t plan, you’re planning to fail as your estate goes out of control and leaves loved ones fighting over it. Get started now. CONTACT our Houston estate planning lawyers today at(832) 699-1953. The attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counsellors at Law are available to answer any questions you may have regarding estate planning.


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