Estate planning is a process where decisions are taken regarding the preservation, management, and transfer of an individual’s assets after death or if they become incapacitated. It is complex and requires the application of legal knowledge and skills. A San Antonio Estate Planning Lawyer can educate you about several state and federal laws that affect your plan and guide you throughout by offering various services and advice.
Tips for estate planning you should know:
Hire an estate planning lawyer.
Your estate consists of your assets such as your house, vehicles, life insurance, stocks, and pension. The plan directly affects your beneficiaries, such as spouses and children, for a long time, and it is necessary to ensure that it considers every need of yours. Your lawyer understands this and helps create a legally valid and personalized plan for you and your family.
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Maintain a proper record.
To have a proper division of your assets, you need to account for all of them. This includes tangible assets such as houses, jewelry, antiques, and cars and intangible assets such as bank accounts, retirement funds, and long-term policies such as life, health, and auto. Also, keep a record of all your debts, such as credit cards and loans.
Planning goes beyond a will.
Estate planning comprises several elements. The last will and testament is a declaration made by the individual about how they want their assets to be distributed after death to their selected beneficiaries. An attorney helps you create a legally enforceable will that makes provisions for all your wants. They also help you create trusts, to have a third party hold title to and manage your properties for the beneficiaries.
A power of attorney is assigned to make decisions regarding assets or healthcare on your behalf in an event when you are unable to do so. It may also include other provisions such as deciding guardians and a letter of intent. They advise you on the best decisions to take to avoid heavy taxation.
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It is essential to review and update your plan at regular intervals constantly. This is extremely important in the birth of children, death of a beneficiary, divorces, and marriages to accommodate the new division of estate after the individual’s death. Lack of updates can cause part of your estate to go to the wrong person or someone to lose part of it.
Not having a proper plan for your estate after death can result in negative consequences on your loved ones and cause the estate to be distributed according to the laws of your state. Their plan differs from your values and ideas and will not align with your ideal plan. The state probate can result in undesired distribution and be extremely expensive. Consult an estate planning lawyer that has the experience to help you efficiently.
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