The estate planning process can be one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Deciding which of your family members and friends will receive your personal belongings after your passing isn’t something to be handled lightly. It can take a lot of time and careful thinking, so be sure to have a pair of trusted and reputable attorneys help you. Here are some tips to help you decide which type of estate planning is best for you.
Drafting a last will and testament is perhaps the most common way of ensuring that your loved ones and friends receive your belongings in an easy manner. If one should pass away without a will or other form of estate plan, a court can intervene and distribute the deceased’s belongings instead, which can result in bickering and disagreements within the family.
Power of Attorney (POA)
Granting “power of attorney” to a trusted individual allows him/her to manage your assets and make decisions on your behalf if you aren’t able to do so yourself. For example, if you fall severely ill or are injured in an auto wreck, the person you’ve granted POA to can decide how your medical treatments will be handled. This person can also make decisions on your behalf regarding business matters, private affairs, or other legal situations.
Beneficiary deeds, or transfer-on-death deeds, are legal documents wherein ownership of property is transferred from the deceased to an inheritor. Beneficiary deeds are one of the most common types of deeds as the will of the deceased doesn’t have to be probated before a transfer occurs. This option works best for those who don’t want to have their property probated in a will or if he/she doesn’t want a transfer of ownership to happen until their death.
Trusts have a variety of purposes because they protect and divide up assets. They can be used alongside a will and also:
- Ensure that certain possessions or property cannot be subject to debate in probate court.
- Deal with very specific properties and possessions like life insurance policies but not income or savings.
Ensure that Your Belongings are Taken Care Of
By failing to plan, you plan to fail. Avoid having a court distribute your belongings by taking care of your estate planning efforts with the help of Fryer and Hansen. Contact our estate planning lawyers in McAllen today to find out how we can help you. We offer free consultations upon request.