There is more to estate planning than writing a will. It’s about naming a guardian for young children, planning for retirement, even drafting a pre-nuptial agreement covering a second marriage. The process is about making thoughtful choices now so that you and your loved ones are prepared for the future.
If you would like to learn how we can help you, please contact our offices.
Making Your Wishes Known
Below are some terms to help you understand the estate planning process:
- Durable Power of Attorney: Names those you trust to help with legal and/or financial decisions.
- Medical Power of Attorney: Authorizes others to make health choices for you when you can’t.
- A Designation of Guardian: Included in your will to specify who will care for your minor children or adult children with special needs in the event of your untimely death. In a separate document, it can also specify your choice of someone to oversee your own care in the event of deteriorating health.
- A Living Will: Expresses your preferences for end-of-life medical treatment (Directive to Physicians).
- Mental Health Power of Attorney or Declaration of Agent for Mental Health Treatment: Used to give a trusted family member the ability to help make mental health care treatment decisions if you become incompetent to make such decisions.
- A Declaration of Guardian in the event of Later Need: Allows you to choose who will be your guardian if the court ever needs to appoint a guardian for you. It also allows you to designate whom you do not want to be your guardian.
- An Agent for Disposition of Remains: Named in a document as the person who will determine your funeral and burial arrangements.
Protecting & Distributing Your Estate
- Trusts can serve so many purposes ─ managing funds on behalf of a minor, enhancing quality of life for someone with disabilities, safeguarding an inheritance in the event of divorce.
- A Pre-nuptial Agreement and/or a Marital Property Agreement can preserve harmony in blended families and determine how assets and money will be handled in a divorce or after death.
- A Will ensures that, upon your death, property will be dispensed as you wish and designates an executor to manage the process.
- An Enhanced Life Estate (Lady Bird) deed avoids probate delays, distributing real estate to your beneficiaries immediately upon your death.
- During Probate, the court establishes the validity of your Will so that distributions may proceed after debts are negotiated and paid.
- If an individual dies without a Will, an Heirship proceeding identifies individuals that have rights to the estate.
Contact Rainey & Rainey Estate Planning Attorneys at (254) 826-8151 to begin preparing now.