The Facile Help You Need To Create A Solid Will And Avoid Texas Probate
Anyone who owns a home, is married, has children, has a savings, checking or 401(k) account, can significantly benefit from having a will. The skilled team at Huckaby Hicks PLLC in Buda can help determine which tools best meet your needs and goals. We offer a free consultation so that you can get your questions answered. Call 737-309-2231 and speak with a member of our team.
What Is A Will?
A will or “last will and testament,” is a written document that does several things. A will can be a single document or can include other documents as well. In your will you will want to:
- Allocate your financial assets
- Ensure that you have designated beneficiaries assigned to your accounts
- Name a guardian for your minor children
- Appoint an executor of your estate to ensure your last wishes are honored
- Create an advance directive that details the type of care you want if you are unable to make decisions or communicate
- Designate a health care proxy to make medical decisions for you if you become unable
- Appoint a person to have power of attorney to manage your finances: collect your debts, open and close accounts, sell your property and pay your bills if you are suddenly unable to. This designation can be limited in scope or time.
To be a legally binding document, a will must meet certain requirements, including being made by someone of sound mind and witnessed upon signing. If you do not identify an executor to ensure the directives of your will are carried out, the court will appoint a qualified person to wind up your estate.
Wills are fluid documents. Life changes: babies are born or adopted, people get married and divorced, people die and relationships change. It is not uncommon to need to amend or revoke wills as a result of family changes. We can advise and help with this process. As attorneys who also practice business and commercial law, we are adept at incorporating these assets into your estate planning.
Powers Of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person, referred to as a “principal,” to designate another, the “attorney-in-fact,” to make decisions of consequence for the principal. Multiple different types of powers of attorneys are recognized in Texas. Most people need a financial power of attorney. We can talk about which type you need based on your situation. Once a power of attorney is executed, the duration that the power of attorney remains in effect is determined by the type of power of attorney and whether or not the principal has revoked the document.
What An Advance Directive Does
An advance directive (also called a health care directive or living will) makes your wishes about the care you want to receive known. This document is useful to ensure that both your medical providers and your family understand what you would like done and what you do not want done.
An advance directive allows you to have input into medical decisions made on your behalf in the event that you are unable to communicate your wishes due to incapacity or illness. There are four recognized forms of advance directives in Texas:
- Directive to physicians and family
- Medical powers of attorney
- Do not resuscitate (DNR) forms
- Declaration of mental health treatment
Without planning for a medical emergency, your spouse, adult children, parents or nearest living relative will be left to make important and potentially life-saving decisions on your behalf. We will work with you step-by-step to explain each document and ensure that you have a say in the medical care you receive during critical times. You may also want to appoint a health care proxy to make decisions for you when you are unable. It is important to choose someone who will follow through on what you want, not make decisions based on their own preferences.
You can make your advance directive as detailed as you’d like. You may also wish to include your wishes for your funeral or burial, organ donation and/or appointment of an agent to dispose of your remains. An advance directive is one part of an estate plan. Your estate plan may also include various other tools.
Work With A Team Known For Its Solid Reputation
Not all attorneys handle all types of law. Not every firm has the earned reputation we have for meticulous attention to details, personal service and a warrior-like approach to advocacy. Call to set up a free estate planning consultation or to get your questions about the process answered. Our team can be reached at 737-309-2231. In Buda, Texas, we help clients with their estate planning issues throughout Central Texas including Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell, Comal, Burnet, Llano and Bastrop counties. You can also ask a question or connect with us via our online contact form.