We’d never have the fairytale of Cinderella and her evil stepmother and sisters if her father had had an estate plan.
Cinderella’s father died without a will, what is called intestate, thus everything went to his surviving spouse. He probably thought his new wife would do the right thing when it came to caring for his only biological daughter. We know how that turned out. At least the result was a popular fairytale. But most of us don’t live in a fairytale.
You might think that estate plans are only for people who live is multi-million-dollar homes in gated communities and pass by gas stations because they drive a Tesla. While you may not need such a plan if you are renting a small apartment and take public transportation, if you own a condo or house, a motorcycle, car, or truck, have savings, retirement funds if not investments, you need a plan that states what to do with these things after your death.
And if Ella were real, she’d agree: you definitely need an estate plan if you have minor children.
An estate plan consists of several documents that protects your assets for your family or friends, allows you to chose who your belongings go to through a will, and allows you to chose who will make your decisions through a health care proxy form and a durable power of attorney.
Besides wills and trusts, some of the things an estate plan includes are:
Please call Sheehan Law, P.L.L.C., estate planning attorney offices, in Pflugerville, Texas for a consultation (512) 355-0155 today.
Without a will, your estate goes into probate, which is the legal process created to fairly and justly evaluate and distribute a deceased person’s assets. The court will decide who gets what and when they get it if you don’t have an estate plan.
You may have told your daughter she’ll get the house after your death. But before you pass on, you remarry and your home goes to your wife, not your daughter.
If you have a will or a living trust, probate moves more quickly. Your will names your beneficiaries and executor, the person charged with overseeing what happens to your things.
If you have minor children, you’ll need to decide who will raise them, making sure they know you’ve done this. You’ll also need to state what assets will they be entitled to from your personal property as well as your life insurance.
Discussing death is a difficult conversation to have with family and friends. Yet not having the discussion winds up being more difficult for them in the event of your death. Taking the time now to create the basic legal documents is a practical way to say, “I love you” even after you are gone.
The basic estate plan forms are:
Please call Sheehan Law, P.L.L.C., an estate planning law firm, in Pflugerville, Texas for a consultation (512) 355-0155 today.
Your conversation with family and friends should include specifics about your plan:
• Funeral instructions should be written down and shared.
• A list of accounts and instructions on what they are what to do with them.
• Select one place to store these instructions and let your family and friends know.
Creating a succession plan will help ensure the business is protected when you are no longer there in the lead.
The three things you should do are:
• Choose a leader. Making the choice if the leader should limit any power struggles. Having a discussion with your family and/or business partners about who will run the business should help guarantee your decisions now rather than them having to make the decisions after your death.
• Consider and act on how your death will legally affect the business. A sole proprietorship would dissolve on your death. A partnership depends on which partner owns more of the company. Make changes now to ensure the future success of your business.
• Consider estate taxes. As of 2020, only estates valued at $11.7 million and $23.4 million for couples pay federal taxes. Of course, future administrations may change that dollar amounts. If your business is valued over the $11.7/$23.4 million, discussing estate taxes with an estate planning attorney may help reduce the amount that is paid in federal taxes.
Over the course of a year, many things change. Pick a date, maybe around your birthday, to review and revise your plan and instructions. Remind your family and friends about your plan and instructions and that you’ve updated them.
Please call Sheehan Law, P.L.L.C., estate settlement attorney offices, in Pflugerville, Texas for a consultation (512) 355-0155 today.