Why You Need an Estate Plan

No one likes to think about death. The idea of departing from loved ones is sad and even frightening for some people. While you are not alone if you feel this way, it is important to take the time to ensure your affairs are in order. Doing so will not only protect your wishes, but it will also protect your loved ones.

At Sutton Milam & Fanning, PLLC, in Waco, Texas, we understand that estate planning is a very personal matter for many people. No matter the size of your estate or your final wishes, we can help you create a personalized plan that supports your goals.

The Benefits of a Well-Crafted Estate Plan

Do you know what happens to your estate if you pass away without a will or any other type of estate plan? The state of Texas gets to decide what happens to your belongings. When the state makes decisions that you wouldn't approve of, or your loved ones do not like, it can cause a world of hurt.

Putting together an estate plan does not have to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive. But doing something is incredibly important and comes with numerous benefits, including:

  • Ensuring your family members are on the same page about what you want, preventing arguments later on
  • Ensuring your assets are handled according to your wishes
  • Ensuring your loved ones know how you want your end-of-life medical care to be handled
  • Allowing you to appoint a person to make medical or financial decisions for you when you are no longer able to
  • Ensure your children or vulnerable loved ones are protected

Common Components of an Estate Plan

There are numerous tools available to craft an estate plan that fits your needs. At our firm, your attorney will carefully assess your assets, listen to your goals and advise on which make the most sense for you. Some common components of estate plans are:

  • Will: A will is the most well-known estate planning tool available, and it can accomplish a wide variety of goals. At minimum, a last will and testament allows you to designate beneficiaries, but it can be as detailed as you like.
  • Living will: Also known as a health care directive, a living will allows you to make decisions about your end-of-life care now. Leaving directions for your loved ones can save them from having to make difficult decisions should that situation arise.
  • Trusts: All or some of your assets can be placed in a trust that may be transferred to others upon your death. Trusts are an effective way to shield your estate from probate and estate taxes. There are numerous types of trusts, including charitable trusts and special needs trusts, that can help accomplish your unique goals.
  • Guardianships: Guardianships allow you to designate someone to care for your children or a vulnerable adult should you pass away unexpectedly.
  • Transfer on death deed: With a transfer on death deed, you can designate a beneficiary for your real property such as a home. If the deed is completed properly, your property will transfer to the beneficiary without having to go through probate.

Visit Our Office to Learn More

Our lawyers can provide better guidance about which estate planning tools are best for you in a free consultation. To schedule yours, call us at 254-633-3048 or send us an email. We serve client in McLennan County and the surrounding areas.