Why You Need An Estate Plan
Do I Need to Have an Estate Plan?
There’s no better investment than planning for your family’s future through an estate plan. Estate planning allows you to protect your family by clarifying how you want your estate and assets to be distributed after death. Your estate plan also allows you to impart your wishes regarding decisions related to your healthcare and personal & business affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.
If you’re considering starting your estate plan, our Houston estate planning attorneys in Texas & Illinois can provide guidance and assistance on preparing the legal documents you need to safegurad your family’s future.
What About Bank, Insurance, & Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations?
The documents referenced in the foregoing form a basic foundation that grant you peace of mind in regards to being legally prepared for unexpected life events such as death, disease, catastrophic injury, etc.
There are important considerations to be made regarding last wills, living wills, and powers of attorney. However, should you ever become incapacitated or cannot make decisions on your own, it may be a wise decision to have them in place. Last wills, living wills, and powers of attorney can be limited, amended to reflect changes in your circumstances, or may be revoked at any time by you.
Beneficiary designations in banking, insurance, retirement, annuity, or other similar accounts do not take care of all the things that a well-drafted estate plan does.
Your life, health, and other decisions such as where or who your property shall go are all matters unaffected by most bank and insurance beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations must be addressed properly, or you run the risk of not having what may have been your original intent occur.
Our experienced Houston estate planning lawyers can help you draft an estate plan that reflects your wishes so you can rest assured that your intentions will be followed when the unexpected happens.
Bank Accounts/Certificates of Deposit, Stock, Retirement Plans, IRA’s and other type Property
Similar to ownership of real estate, the same can be made of these investments. In fact, many Banks routinely place Bank accounts and Certificates of Deposit in the “joint tenant with right of survivorship” form of ownership if more than one person is on the account or CD without advising you of the consequence of same.
In situations where the persons are husband and wife and there is no issue or concern over divorce or children from previous marriages, this may be the best course of action. However, with divorce on the rise, premarital agreements and multiple marriages being common, the parties may be doing something that was not their intent. Another common problematic situation is where a parent has more than one child, intends that all children receive equal shares upon his/her death, but only one child resides in the hometown of the parent. The parent, thinking that it is more convenient to do so, may place the name of the child who resides in the same town as s/he on accounts, CD’s, and other investments, and will establish a joint tenant with right of survivorship situation without realizing that only that child will be entitled to those assets at the parent’s death. Simply put, you should be aware when you acquire an asset or investment exactly how it is titled.
With regard to being proactively responsible, rather than being ill-prepared or not prepared at all, we are ready for consultation with you in order to discuss and address needs you may have and to discuss responsibilities that you may not have realized were yours to be concerned about.
Be responsible. For yourself, for your family members, for your loved ones, and for the charities and/or organizations that you support or would like to support.
Our skilled and compassionate estate planning attorneys in Houston, Texas and Illinois are ready to help you prepare for the future. Contact us for consultation regarding estate planning.
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