Texas Estate Planning
Attorney Ruiz and his staff can help you prepare for the future by exploring or reviewing estate planning options with you. For many adults, paying attention to proper estate planning is a smart way to ensure that their ultimate intent is clearly followed in their absence. We can also help establish tutoring and trust instruments. Each state has its own estates or wills and trust laws, Texas rules are complex, and having a legal interpreter is essential to help you make informed decisions.
Compile a Will
Your will documents explain how you want your real and personal property to be distributed after you leave. The document must make arrangements for care and guardianship if he is the parent of minor children. His will must appoint an executor, a trusted person who will be legally responsible for ensuring debts are paid and assets are distributed.
Generally, two witnesses are required for a valid will. However, Texas law includes provisions for unwritten or handwritten holographic wills, though they often take longer to validate because a judge must verify the signature. In fact, the state allows wills without handwritten signatures, as well as wills issued to bequeath personal property. However, there are huge hurdles that need to be overcome to prove such cases.
You are not required to hire an attorney, but Attorney Ruiz will review it thoroughly if you have already created one, so you can be sure the document is legally defensible and written correctly to meet your intentions.
Inheritance to Liquidate an Estate
Even if you make a will, your estate may have to go through probate to ensure debts and taxes are discharged, money owed is collected, and assets are distributed, although it is possible to avoid the process in Texas if all property passes to a spouse, or if it has already been distributed through trusts, property transfers, co-ownership, or accounts payable on death. Properties worth less than $50,000 also do not have to be proven. Having Attorney Ruiz to help you and your family navigate this process will give you peace of mind, so you can focus on what you are planning.
Attorney Ruiz will be happy to help you organize your matters and has extensive experience handling these areas:
Power of Attorney – The granting of a power of attorney allows a designated person to deal with your personal and business matters if you are unable to handle them, you can limit the power to any particular matter or set of powers. The power of attorney document may limit the designated person to conduct everyday financial transactions, such as banking and billing, or allow broad authority, such as disposition or purchase of assets. No matter which one you choose, you should ensure that you and your designee thoroughly discuss your duty of loyalty and issues of confidentiality. In addition, you can create a medical power of attorney that will allow a designated person to make health care decisions if he becomes incapacitated.
Health Care Decisions – There is a legal mechanism to ensure you receive the health care you want, and no treatment beyond that if you are unable to make your wishes known. Texas recognizes two types of documents in such situations: advance directives describe what kinds of medical measures you want and under what circumstances, while a health care representative appoints someone to make decisions if you are unconscious or in a coma.
Funeral Arrangements – Using a will or letter of final instructions allows you to specify your final wishes; maybe you don't want funeral services or maybe you want to be cremated. If you have registered as an organ donor, make sure your loved ones are aware of your decision. Funeral arrangements can help survivors financially, but complications arise if the mortuary has ceased operations or payments have not taken inflation into account. Consider a trust instead.
You will not need to address the estate tax understatement unless your assets are valued at more than $5 million. If you own even a small business, creating an estate plan will facilitate continued smooth operations after your death. A life insurance policy can allow a surviving spouse some financial breathing room; Placing life insurance in a trust will help avoid taxes. You can make sure your pets are taken care of in your will as well.
Questions about a state? Contact us now
Our extensive knowledge of wills, probate, and all things property can help put your mind at ease. Call or text us today at our Pearland office or send us a message through the website.