Many Texans incorrectly assume that estate planning is only for wealthy families. For people who do not have many assets, they often believe there is no benefit to themselves or their families to drafting an estate plan. However, this cannot be farther from the truth. Estate planning provides the opportunity to decide what to do with their property, assets, and who can make decisions on their behalf if they get ill. These are critical decisions that people should make for themselves, not allow state laws to dictate who makes these decisions. Below are reasons why people believe they should not draft an estate plan—and ultimately, why estate planning is for everyone and should be accomplished as soon as possible.
“My Financial Situation is Ever-Evolving, so I Will Wait to Create an Estate Plan Until It’s More Stable”
While it is understandable to hold off estate planning until a person feels their financial—or personal situation—is more stable, creating an estate plan now provides a baseline that can be altered in the future when things change. A person’s estate planning needs change throughout their lifetime; however, that is not a reason to hold off on the process. In Texas, it is easy to change all aspects of an estate plan—such as the beneficiary designations, health care proxy, and potential guardian for children—at any point. This means as a person grows—along with their personal situation—they have the opportunity to revise the estate plan to fit these new needs.
“Thinking About the Future is Something I Wish to Avoid”
It is understandable that some people want to avoid facing their own mortality or thinking about their future. However, this should not be the reason to not draft an estate plan. Instead, creating an estate plan is the perfect opportunity to evaluate important choices that while potentially overwhelming, are better to make now than under pressure in the future. When people make these choices last minute—or not at all—it can lead to some hasty, and often incorrect, choices. These decisions include who they would like to make medical decisions if the person cannot for themselves, who they would like to receive any assets or property, and who would care for any minor children.
For people who do not create an estate plan, Texas law will govern how their assets are distributed after their passing—as well as who will make important decisions on their behalf. In most cases, the person’s closest familial relationship—according to status, not who they emotionally are closest to—is the person who will receive their assets and make medical decisions on their behalf. For many, this is not the person they would want to be their beneficiary—and all of this can be avoided by drafting an estate plan!
There are many reasons people give to avoid drafting an estate plan; however, without a document in place, there can be dramatic consequences for Texans—regardless of their income, age, or family circumstances.
Contact a Houston Estate Planning Attorney
Texans interested in drafting an estate plan should contact the experienced attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. No matter your financial or personal situation, our attorneys will demystify the process and take the burden off of you and your loved ones. Because our Houston estate planning attorneys have drafted a diverse range of estate plans, we will make an estate plan that meets your specific needs. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call today at 713-333-8900.