Congratulations on your new arrival! When planning for a first child, there are a few tasks that cannot be put off. One of these tasks that is often overlooked is estate planning. In the event of the unthinkable, a well-thought-out plan for your assets can help ensure that your children will always be cared for.
An effective estate plan will answer a variety of important questions. At a minimum, a properly structured plan will address the distribution of assets and care of children in the event that neither parent is alive. Experienced Houston estate planning attorneys address these issues in careful detail, working with families to identify their unique needs and create tailored solutions.
Flexibility in Estate Planning for Many Needs
For example, an effective estate plan for parents who are providing financial support to elderly relatives would also specify a means for supporting those relatives in the event of both parents’ death. In order to avoid conflicts of interest, such a plan might, for instance, nominate one family member to manage the bucket of assets reserved for the elderly relatives, and a separate trusted family member to manage the assets reserved for the children.
Many families are familiar with the need to create a will before the birth of a child. Families should also consider establishing a trust—a powerful legal instrument that sets up a means for a person or group to manage assets for the benefit of third parties, such as one’s children or elderly relatives.
Another important component of estate planning is identifying one’s assets and any limitations on their distribution. Trust and estate lawyers can provide critical support in this process. For example, an estate lawyer can explain to you Texas’s law on the effect of a spouse’s death on the title to the family’s home. Many questions like this one must be identified and answered in order to partake in effective estate planning.
Once you have developed a plan for your estate, there are a number of steps you can take to help ensure that your plan will be set into prompt motion in the event of your death. For example:
- Families should keep their estate planning documents in a secure location at all times;
- Generally, it is also advisable to inform the trustees—the people charged with managing assets in the event of a testator’s death—of this safe and secure location;
- Finally, maintaining the original version of each estate-planning document in addition to several copies can help minimize the likelihood of a legal dispute about the validity of those documents.
Call a Houston Trusts and Estates Lawyer for a Prompt Consultation
If you are an expecting first-time parent, the Houston estate planning law firm of McCulloch & Miller, PLLC congratulates you on this exciting step. Having an estate plan in place before the birth can help give you peace of mind as you embark on this new journey. Our trusts and estates team has decades of combined experience in helping families plan for their future, and our attorneys are available by phone today to discuss your options. Call us at 713-333-8900 to schedule a free consultation.