Estate Planning

How Often Should People Review or Update Their Estate Plan?

estate planning

Any time there’s a major life change, such as marriage, divorce, retirement, or a change of ownership in a business, an update to your estate plan should follow. Otherwise, you should review your estate plan every four years. A well written will does not need to be updated when you have another child. The language in a general will is written to include any kids you’re going to have in the future.

Do People Formulate A Customized Estate Plan To Account For Potential Mental Incapacity?

A person has no control over their mental capacity. If they haven’t planned ahead with documents like a medical power of attorney or a durable power of attorney, they may get to the point where they lack the capacity to sign those documents. I get a lot of phone calls from adult children who want to get power of attorney for a parent who’s now in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. Then, you have to go to more extreme measures, like guardianship.

How Long Does It Generally Take You To Put Together An Estate Plan?

How long it takes to put together an estate plan will depend on the situation. Whether the person or couple have multiple marriages, children from prior marriages, special needs children who are receiving government benefits, and many other factors come into play. On average, from the time I meet with a client initially, it usually takes about seven to 10 days to put together their estate plan. It can definitely take longer, depending on the complexity of their particular estate planning needs.

What Happens When Someone Dies Without A Will Or An Estate Plan In Place?

When someone dies in Texas without a will, their estate is distributed under the Texas laws of intestacy, which may or may not be at all what that person wanted to have happen to their assets.

Is An Estate Plan Something That I Can Put Together Myself Without The Assistance Of An Attorney?

If you do your own will, someone is going to pay a lawyer a lot of money down the road to probate it. If you opt to do a medical or durable power of attorney with an online form, there’s very specific instructions on how it has to be executed in order to be valid. You can sit down and decide what you want to have happen to your assets, but the documents that will make it happen really need to be done in conjunction with an estate planning attorney.

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