No one knows what the future holds in store for them. There are, however, many steps that the average person can take to make sure their loved ones are not left in a lurch in the event of their untimely death. One such step is estate planning. Here are five steps you can take with the help of an Austin estate planning lawyer to prepare for your future.
1. Make a List of Your Assets And Your Beneficiaries
Make a list of all your assets – including the businesses you own, real estate properties you own, bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, investments in the share market, jewelry, personal possessions, and more.
Next, make a list of all the people you would like to leave your assets to. Potential beneficiaries can include your family members, close relatives, friends, neighbors, professional organizations, charitable organizations, and more. Ask your Austin estate planning lawyer to vet your list of beneficiaries and make sure all of them are eligible to inherit your assets.
2. Decide Who Gets What
Decide how you want your assets to be divided and distributed to your beneficiaries. Talk to your beneficiaries about your estate plan and make sure they know what they stand to inherit in the event of your death. If you are unable to decide how your assets should be managed or divided, consult with your Austin estate planning lawyer, as they can provide you with a neutral, objective opinion that can help you make the right decision.
3. Appoint Powers of Attorney
Decide who will make financial decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated (financial power of attorney). Similarly, decide who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated (medical power of attorney). Discuss your plans with your Austin estate planning lawyer and make sure the primary agents and the successor agents (who are authorized to act in the absence of the primary agents) meet the necessary criteria.
4. Set up Guardianships
If you have minor children or dependents with special needs, it is important to designate a guardian who will look after them in the event of your death. Talk to the person whom you plan to appoint as the guardian and get their consent.
5. Update Your Estate Plan as And When Needed
If you ever change your mind regarding who gets your assets or who gets to make decisions on your behalf, you should get your estate plan updated with the help of an Austin estate planning lawyer.
Your lawyer – for their part – will keep track of the amendments (if any) to the existing estate laws and update your estate plan as and when required to make sure it is in compliance with the new laws.
Need a Skilled Austin Estate Planning Lawyer to Plan For Your Future?
Attorney Eric M. Willie P.C. has an in-depth understanding of Texas estate planning laws and has helped scores of clients – from salaried people to businessmen – with their estate plans. He can craft an estate plan which takes your financial needs into account and accurately reflects all your wishes.
To find out more about estate planning, call us today at 512-478-0834 or fill out this online form. We encourage you to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with experienced Austin estate planning lawyer Eric M. Willie P.C. and his legal team.