Whether you are a firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic, or police officer, as a first responder, you put your life on the line during every shift to help those in your community. With this extraordinary risk and sacrifice comes an urgent need to protect you and your family’s financial future. With careful estate planning, you can rest assured that your assets will be managed appropriately should you be injured on the job, or if your work results in the ultimate sacrifice.
Estate Planning for First Responders
An estate plan can offer substantial peace of mind for first responders. If a first responder were to die without an estate plan, then under Texas law, the courts would be forced to distribute that person’s assets according to formulaic legal guidelines. These guidelines do not account for factors such as personal preferences or complicated family matters. The results can be devastating, such as a long-estranged spouse inheriting a significant portion of the first responder’s estate.
Although every adult should have an estate plan in place, the need is especially strong for first responders because of the nature of their job. At a minimum, first responders should consider preparing a will and series of advanced directives.
A will is the most basic type of estate plan. In a nutshell, it informs the court as to how your assets should be distributed after your death, and to whom. It is critical to choose an executor to carry out your will ahead of time. Choosing an ethical and trustworthy executor can help ensure that your final wishes will be carried out correctly.
Advanced directives come into play if you become incapacitated and cannot make important decisions regarding your health and wellbeing. These legal instruments can guide medical decision-making, including end-of-life care, as well as the treatment of your finances while you are still living. Critically, having a medical power of attorney and durable power of attorney in place can also spare you the possibility of being placed under a guardianship should you become mentally or physically incapacitated.
Besides the benefit of peace of mind, preplanned estate planning can save first responders and their loved ones a significant amount of money and stress. This is because, without an estate plan, family members may be forced to go through a prolonged probate process. Working with a seasoned estate-planning law firm can therefore spare loved ones added financial and emotional costs during an already difficult time.
Contact a Houston Estate Planning Lawyer Today
The Houston estate planning law firm of McCulloch & Miller, PLLC law firm thanks first responders for their courage and sacrifice during these trying times. We invite you to contact us today for a consultation to help ensure that your loved ones will be financially secure in the event of the unthinkable. We have significant experience in working with first responders and their families and understand the unique estate-planning needs and challenges that come with this role. For example, we are committed to working within our clients’ busy schedules to ensure that their estate planning needs are met in a timely and convenient fashion. To schedule your consultation, call 713-333-8900.