If you have young children and prefer not to think about planning for their well-being after your death, you are not alone. Many parents in Texas avoid this topic, but it is important to create an estate plan to ensure that your children get the very best care if something happens to you.
For a parent, one of the most important functions of a will is to name a guardian for the children. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to make sure your children will be in the care of someone you have chosen. If you do not choose a guardian, the court process to appoint one can be long and stressful.
You may also want to consider both a life insurance policy and a trust so that your children are cared for. A trust may not be the right choice for every family, but it can mean that your children receive assets at the time and in the way that you want.
Your health and assets
Estate planning is also about having a plan in place in case you become incapacitated. Powers of attorney can name someone who will make health care decisions for you as well as manage any financial matters if you are unable to do so. In your will, you can appoint an executor who will be in charge of your estate throughout the probate process. An executor’s job includes making sure that any assets passed in the will go to the beneficiaries you have named.
You should avoid errors such as allowing beneficiary designations to fall out of date and contradict your will or trust. In a situation like this, the beneficiary designation would override the other documents. Your estate plan should be regularly reviewed and updated if necessary. It is important that the different elements work in harmony with one another. An attorney may be able to help you with this coordination.