Three Estate Planning Must-Haves in Texas

Estate planning does not have to be unnecessarily complicated, especially if you have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. While the details of every estate plan are important, and while it is crucial that your details are thoroughly reviewed, there are a few main elements to every estate plan that comprise the fundamentals. Today, we review what we see as the three “must-haves” in estate planning, so you can think through your own estate planning journey accordingly. To find out how these fundamentals apply to your circumstances, take the next step, and reach out to a Houston estate planning attorney that can offer you additional support.

1. Distribution of Assets

The first, and perhaps most obvious, “must-have” in an estate plan is clear distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Your estate plan must be specific about which assets go to which people, and it must take into account contingencies. For example, if you pass everything to your spouse, but your spouse tragically dies at the same time you do, does your estate plan have specify who will inherit in your spouse’s place? You should not leave any major assets out of your plan, so that nothing is put to chance in the future.

2. A Plan for Potential Incapacity

Your estate plan should specify a person with the authority to make important decisions on your behalf in the unlikely event that you become incapacitated. This authority can come in the form of power of attorney or a guardianship, depending on your goals. Texas statutes define an incapacitated person as either a minor or an adult who is “substantially unable” to care for his or her own physical needs or financial affairs due to a health condition. By including a specific person in your estate plan who can take over in the event of your incapacity, you can ensure your medical and financial needs are in good hands, no matter the circumstances.

3. Beneficiary Designations

You should ensure that your estate plan clearly defines who is to inherit the assets you leave behind. This list should stay current. If you experience any life change (i.e., a marriage, divorce, death, or birth), you should update your plan accordingly. There should be no room for interpretation about who receives which asset(s), in order to avoid potential conflict down the road.

Is McCulloch & Miller the Estate Planning Firm for You?

Thinking through your estate plan requires care, attention, and a basic knowledge of what is at stake. At McCulloch & Miller, our team of Houston estate planning attorneys listens to your goals and priorities in order to help you craft the perfect estate plan. Every client is different, which is why we pride ourselves on taking a holistic, personalized approach to each and every case. If you don’t yet have a Houston estate planning attorney in your corner, consider our firm for all of your estate planning needs.

For a consultation with an attorney from our firm, give us a call today at 713-903-7879. You can also fill out our online form with your contact information to have an attorney get back in touch with you as soon as possible about your estate plan.


Contact Information