If you have lost a loved one before, you know just how difficult it can be to manage their estate and affairs in the aftermath of their passing. Matters can become even more complicated if your loved one did not leave behind a comprehensive estate plan.
Everyone will die some day—this is just an unavoidable fact of life. And while you may not necessarily want to think about this, it is important to do so sooner rather than later. But exactly when should you start estate planning for yourself?
The short answer is that it is never too early to get started on creating your estate plan.
At Massingill, we know just how important it is to have a comprehensive estate plan in place that is created with your particular needs in mind. If you have questions about when to start your estate planning and how to get started when you are ready, give our estate planning attorneys a call today.
Common Estate Planning Questions
Before getting into when you should start your estate planning, it is important to have a general understanding of what an estate plan is and when yours will come into play.
Most people have heard of the term “estate planning” at some point or another. But if you don’t know exactly what that means in a practical sense, don’t worry—you are not alone. In fact, there are many misconceptions about what constitutes an estate plan and when you might need one.
Below are some commonly asked estate planning questions to help guide you through the beginning stages of creating your own estate plan.
What Documents Are Typically Included in an Estate Plan?
Many people believe that creating an estate plan is synonymous with creating a will. However, this is not necessarily the case.
A last will and testament is certainly an important estate planning document. However, a comprehensive estate plan will contain additional documents as well.
Below are some examples of documents that you might want to consider including in your estate plan:
- Last will and testament,
- Revocable living trust,
- Pour-over will,
- Financial power of attorney,
- Medical power of attorney,
- Directive to physicians,
- HIPAA waiver,
- Final disposition instructions, and
- Guardianship nominations for minor children (if applicable).
A comprehensive estate plan will go over more than just who you wish to leave your assets to after your passing. Contact our Texas estate planning attorneys today to discuss what estate planning documents are right for your unique circumstances.
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Of course, one of the primary reasons people create an estate plan is to better ensure that their property and assets end up where they belong. But there is more to estate planning than just distribution of assets after your passing.
Who will manage my finances if I become incapacitated but am still alive? How do I let my loved ones know my end-of-life decisions? Who do I designate to make medical decisions on my behalf in the event I am unable to make such decisions for myself?
These are questions that will often be addressed in a comprehensive estate plan.
So, why do you need an estate plan? There are a number of valuable reasons:
- Clearly delineate your intentions regarding the distribution of your assets after your passing;
- Sleep easier knowing that you have organized your affairs for the future;
- Better protect the people you love;
- Avoid potential legal disputes that may otherwise arise without an estate plan in place; and
- Give your family peace of mind.
When someone passes away, it is always most difficult on their loved ones. And when someone dies without an estate plan in place, this nearly always results in a more complicated, time-consuming, and emotionally draining process for their loved ones.
No person knows your wishes better than you do. Thus, protect your legacy and your loved ones by making sure you have all the necessary documents in place for your estate plan.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Create My Estate Plan?
Of course, there is no legal requirement in Texas stating that you must have your estate planning documents drafted by an attorney. In fact, Texas law specifically permits what are called “holographic,” or handwritten, wills.
Nevertheless, wills and other estate planning documents are legal documents. Thus, there are many additional laws and best practices surrounding their drafting and execution. In an effort to ensure that all your documents are legally binding and enforceable, it is best to have an estate planning professional draft your documents and guide you through the process.
Many people mistakenly believe that they cannot afford to hire an attorney to draft their estate planning documents. In reality, you cannot afford not to.
At Massingill, we want to make estate planning documents as accessible as possible. That’s why we offer affordable pricing and flat fees for both will-based and trust-based estate planning packages.
So When Should You Start Estate Planning?
Don’t wait—get started on your estate planning today.
This life is precious. And as cliché as it may sound, it is also uncertain and can change in an instant. Thus, it is never too early to start getting your affairs in order.
People frequently believe that estate planning is reserved for the elderly, but this is not the case at all. All adults should have an estate plan in place, no matter their age or stage of life.
So if you are wondering whether it’s time to start estate planning, the answer is yes! It is best to do so as soon as possible just to be safe.
Your Austin, TX Estate Planning Attorneys
If you are searching for a Texas estate planning firm who will provide you with unparalleled services and attention, look no further than Massingill.
Legal documents are complex, but we make it simple. Based in Austin, TX, our firm has helped countless clients achieve the peace of mind that comes with creating a comprehensive estate plan.
Your family is unique—your estate planning documents should be too. Thus, we will work to ensure that your legal documents are tailored specifically to your precise wishes and needs.
We take pride in helping our clients plan for their futures. And with over 150 5-star reviews, we are confident that we have the tools, resources, and experience necessary to make your estate planning process as informative, simple, and stress-free as possible.
We hope that you will hire Massingill to be your Austin, Texas estate planning attorneys. Contact us today for a consultation, and see what we can do for you.