How to Ensure Your Wishes Are Honored After You Are Gone

Oftentimes, the most difficult part about estate planning is reckoning with the fact that by the time your documents are executed, you will be long gone. As sobering as this reality can be, it is also a reminder that your estate plans should be legally valid, thorough, and clear regarding your wishes for how your assets are distributed. By taking the time to create a detailed estate plan now, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and honored down the road.

Create an Estate Plan

The first key to making sure your wishes are honored is drafting an estate plan, whether it be a will, trust, or other set of documents that lays out instructions for your loved ones. The estate plan should be specific, explicit, and accurate. It should cover the totality of your assets, leaving nothing to chance. The estate plan should also be updated every 3-5 years; that way, you do not risk having an outdated will that the probate court struggles to reconcile with your most recent circumstances.

Name an Executor

It is also smart to think now about who you will want to be your estate’s executor. This person will be responsible for making sure the probate court carries out your wishes; in other words, you should only appoint someone that you know and trust will have your best interest at heart. Your executor should also be fully briefed on the contents of your will, so that he or she knows what to expect when going before a probate court.

Anticipate and Address Any Obstacles

Your estate plan should anticipate future hardships or obstacles. For example, will your beneficiaries face tension over what you included in the documents? If so, is the will sufficiently clear to overcome those tensions? Are there complicated assets in your estate, and if so, does the will explain how those assets should be divided? Do you have previous estate planning documents that the court could assume are competing with your most recent documents? By addressing these obstacles head on, you can make sure your beneficiaries are able to quickly receive the money or property that you left for them.

Call a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

These, of course, are just a few ways to make sure your wishes are honored after you are gone. The best thing you can do to make sure everything in your estate plan is above board is to call an experienced Houston estate planning attorney that can help you create an individualized plan that takes your priorities into account. By doing all you can in the present to create the best and most accurate estate plan, you will be doing yourself and your loved ones a favor down the road. At McCulloch & Miller, we take pride in creating thorough estate plans that clearly effectuate our clients’ goals.

If you would like to set up a consultation with one of our Houston estate planning attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, call us today at 713-936-9073. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about yourself and have a member of our team contact you as soon as possible.


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