Denton Estate Planning Lawyers
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It may be unsettling to think about what happens after you die, but it’s crucial to have a plan that protects your hard-earned assets and loved ones’ wellbeing. Estate planning consists of legal documents that protect the transfer of your assets when you die. In other words, you determine who gets what.
Everything you’ve acquired throughout your life must go somewhere when you pass away, so our estate planning attorneys are here to help you plan your legacy. One of our primary practice areas is creating comprehensive estate plans while helping clients evaluate the important details they should include in their estate planning documents. Thus, you can rest in peace knowing your assets are in good hands.
Types of Estate Planning Documents
We help clients preserve and protect their assets and property by creating valid estate planning documents that withstand legal challenges. There are several documents that our experienced estate planning attorneys can devise, regardless of the size of your estate.
Estate plans consist of important documents that we can create on your behalf, including:
Wills: Also known as a testament, a will describes how you want your property to be distributed after you die and appoints an executor to ensure your final wishes are honored. A will goes into effect after you die.
Living & Revocable Trusts: Similar to a will, a living revocable trust describes the transfer of your assets, including who gets what. In contrast, a living revocable trust becomes effective immediately and can be changed at any time while you are alive.
Further, you can manage your assets laid out in the trust as long as you’re alive. If you become incapacitated or die, your trust becomes irrevocable, and your trustee (person in charge) can ensure your intended beneficiaries get their respective assets.
Medical and Durable Powers of Attorney (POA): A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to act in your place. If you become incapacitated or become unable to make your own decisions, a durable POA steps in and makes important financial, legal and business decisions for you.
A medical POA, or durable power of attorney for health care, kicks in once you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. The person you put in charge, your agent, will oversee your medical treatment and make important health decisions on your behalf, such as terminating life support.
Guardianship: If you are unable to take care of yourself and you have minor children, your guardian steps in. In these situations, you lose your legal rights and instead, your guardian gets legal rights to manage your person and estate. Thus, you must choose your guardians carefully and wisely.
A guardian of the person means your guardian has responsibilities on your behalf, such as:
- Food, clothing and shelter
- Medical care
- Education and any special needs
A guardian of the estate means your guardian can control your property and assets in your estate, as well as financial affairs including your investments and income.
If you have minor children, meaning children under 18, appointing a guardian to take care of them and act in your place is a difficult yet important decision. You must protect your children’s best interests by planning who will “parent” them when you no longer can, whether it’s due to incapacitation or death.
What are the Benefits of Wills & Trusts?
Wills and trusts are among the most common estate planning documents you require to successfully transfer your assets and manage your estate’s affairs. Without these two documents, your valuable assets can go in the hands of the Texas government, which is the last thing you need.
Having a will or trust established in advance of need is the best way to avoid emotional family disputes over assets and property. With detailed estate planning, you can feel confident knowing your wishes will be recognized and followed, and that your heirs will receive the inheritances you wanted them to have.
If you are incapacitated temporarily or permanently, a living will or trust is an excellent way to protect your best interests. If you should become incapacitated and unable to manage your financial affairs, or when you die, these documents contain your wishes for handling your assets and estate matters.
Contact Our Denton Estate Planning Attorneys at (940) 310-6122!
Simple estate planning is important for everyone and gives you peace of mind. Regardless of the size and scope of your estate, our estate planning lawyers will handle your needs as if it were our own estate. When you have a large estate and property holdings, you need more complex planning, which we highly recommend handle at our firm.
Our team intends to plan every client’s legacy successfully by leveraging our strategic, honest and detailed legal counsel. Contact James H. Horton Law Firm, P.C. to learn how our estate planning lawyers can work for you.