Estate planning should be an essential part of every person’s financial planning. An estate plan provides protection both during a person’s life and after they pass away. The following are a list of important estate planning documents I can draft for you:
- Simple Will
- Will with Testamentary Trust
- Will with Family Trust, Special Need Trust, or a Contingent Trust
- Codicil to a Will
- Small Estate Affidavit
- Affidavit of Heirship
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates
- Authorization for Disclosure of Protected Health Information (HIPAA Authorization)
- Out-of-Hospital DNR
- Declaration of Guardian in the Event of Later Incapacity or Need of Guardian
- Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains
- Funeral Instructions/Information
Frequently Asked Questions
If I do not have a Will, does all of my property go to the State?
If you do not have a Will, your assets will pass to those persons according to the Texas Estates Code. Under the rules of intestacy, your assets will pass to your closest family members. When there are no close relatives and the distant relatives cannot be located or reached, only then will your property pass to the State. The major problem with dying Intestate (without a Will), is that the persons who receive your assets under the law may not be those whom you want to receive your assets. Dying Intestate can also make the probating of an Estate more expensive.
If I have a Will from another state, do I need a new will now that I have moved to Texas?
It is always a good idea to make sure that the Will is valid in Texas. Each state has its own rules concerning the requirements for a valid Will. Therefore, I would suggest either having a Texas Attorney review the Will or execute a new Will.
Can I Make a Verbal Will?
No. Any verbal instructions are not valid in Texas. Your family and friends will be required to give your property to those persons required under the rules of intestacy.
Can I handwrite my own will?
Yes. However, for a handwritten Will to be effective in Texas, it must meet certain requirements. I would never recommend a handwritten Will mainly for three reasons: 1) Risk of fraud; 2) it may not adequately dispose of your property or provide for the proper administration of your estate; and 3) it could make probating your estate more expensive.
Can I make a new Will at any time?
Yes. You can execute a new Will at any time if you have legal capacity.