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Circumstances that could warrant a trust in Texas

Parents want to ensure that their children are cared for when they are no longer around to make such assurances themselves. For many parents, one of their goals in life is to leave an inheritance for their children that will protect their offspring financially. However, there are some situations that may prompt Texas parents to create special stipulations through a trust, rather than handing over an inheritance outright.

There are a variety of situations in which parents can use trusts to protect their children. For example, many people with disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome receive government benefits. Often, an inheritance can jeopardize a disabled person's qualifications for such benefits, prompting many parents to establish a special needs trust that can ensure that the child receives the care he or she needs throughout life without impacting government benefits.

New Year's resolutions often include estate planning

When most people think of New Year's resolution, they think of how much time they will spend at the gym or the new diet they will attempt. However, some estate planning professionals would like people to focus on creating an appropriate plan for their estate to protect their assets and ensure that provisions are in place for loved ones. For those in Texas who have already gone through the process, resolutions may be centered more toward revising an existing plan.

A person's life is bound to change over the years, making it necessary to make changes to an estate plan. For example, a divorce, remarriage or addition of a child to the family often prompt people in Texas to re-evaluate how they want their assets to be divided upon their death. Additionally, a person may wish to change who will be making financial and medical decisions in the event he or she becomes unable to make such decisions. As time passes, relationships change, potentially prompting revisions.

The importance of estate planning for new parents in Texas

New parents have many things on their minds. For most in Texas, their goals are often focused on meeting the needs of their new child. To many, these tasks include warming bottles and changing diapers. However, ensuring that the proper estate planning documents are in place is also an important part of ensuring that the needs of children are met.

An estate plan is made up of several different documents. These documents describe a person's wishes in regard to asset division and health care decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated or passes away. Perhaps most importantly for parents, an estate plan names a guardian for dependent children as well as a person to manage an estate in order to provide for said children.

A trust can ensure the well-being of Texas pets

Many households in Texas have pets. In many cases, pet owners consider their pets to be actual members of the family. As such, they deserve equal consideration during the estate planning process. The attorneys at Hayes & Wilson, PLLC, can help pet owners create a pet trust that will help ensure that a pet is cared for even when owners are unable to provide care due to death or incapacitation.

If additional planning is not undertaken, pets are considered property that is part of an estate. As such, their fates will be determined by state law, perhaps even resulting in the separation of pets who have spent their lives together. Unfortunately, without proper planning the future of beloved pets could be uncertain.

Care planning involves considering incapacitation

The creation of wills and trusts is an extremely important process that helps ease the stress experienced by family members in Texas following the loss of a loved one. However, these tools are not the only part of estate planning. Many people also go through care planning, which includes naming a person to make medical and financial decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated.

An important tool for this sort of planning is a power of attorney. This allows someone else to make financial decisions for the person should he or she become unable to do so. There are several options when it comes to the creation of such a power. For example, some people may choose to have the power of attorney go into effect immediately. In this scenario, the document granting these powers would be stored in a safe place where the person named as an agent can access it in the event of an emergency.

Costly estate planning mistakes to avoid

As with most things, a person in Texas who wants to create a will can find do-it-yourself instructions online. However, the estate planning process often encompasses more than the creation of will, and individual circumstances could warrant more than a generic template. In addition to overlooking the importance of creating other tools of such a plan, a do-it-yourself approach can result in costly delays in the administration of an estate.

A person who creates his or her own will may be able to save money in the short term. However, such an approach may overlook the long-term benefits of having a professional guide the process. For example, the person's estate may benefit from a properly funded trust which can help the estate avoid both probate and taxes.

Daughter questions beneficiary's role in father's will

An experienced attorney can help those in Texas create estate planning documents. Having a neutral party with experience with the law can help prevent accusations of undue influence. For example, an out-of-state woman is currently questioning her father's will.

Her father passed away in Dec. 2015, leaving behind an estate valued at $1.2 million. He had originally written a will in 1984 leaving most of his estate to his then-wife and his children. However, he allegedly revised his will shortly before his death. The revisions ultimately left the bulk of his estate in the hands of a couple who are described as friends of the man.

Property division an important part of estate planning

Life is full of decisions. When it comes to estate planning in Texas, parents are often left making decisions that seem unfair. However, depending on individual circumstances, simply leaving everything to split evenly between children can be problematic.

For example, one mother divided her property equally between all of her children. However, one of her children had special needs and was living in a group home for people who qualify for Medicaid. As part of the program he was in, he also worked a special job in the community. However, the inheritance he received upon his mother's death disqualified him from receiving Medicaid, meaning he was facing eviction from the group home.

Why do people in Texas choose a special needs trust?

A will and other estate planning tools can help people ensure that their estate is divided according to their wishes. For many people, tools such as a trust can help provide greater flexibility in regard to asset distribution. In some situations in Texas, a special needs trust may be necessary to ensure that a person who is unable to make decisions or care for him or herself receives life-long care.

When it comes to a family member with special needs, a special needs trust could be an effective tool. Such a trust may be especially useful since a person who has over $2,000 in assets may not qualify for government assistance. Fortunately, a trust can potentially help a person with special needs without interfering with his or her benefits.

Care planning important in Texas estate plan

When most people consider the estate planning process, their thoughts immediately go to creating their will, and they may not think about anything more than that. However, there are other options to consider. In some instances, a person may become unable to make medical decisions for him or herself. With no previous care planning, doctors in Texas will turn to family members to make important medical decision.

In some cases, this could leave a family member making decisions that the person would not choose. For example, a relative that the patient has had little contact with in years and knows nothing about the person's wishes could ultimately be the person attempting to make decisions. Fortunately, there are legal remedies that can give a person more say in the medical treatment he or she receives even in the event of incapacitation.

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