If you own property in Texas and do not have an estate plan in place, you should consider exploring your options. Even if you do not own property but you have other assets to your name, including ones that have nothing more than sentimental value, it is good to have a will or trust that spells out who will receive those valuables when you pass away.

Power of attorney

Estate planning is not just about preparing for what will happen after your death; it can also be about who will look after you if you become incapacitated. By creating a power of attorney for financial and/or medical decisions, you can designate someone to be in charge of your legal decisions if you become unable to do so yourself.

Beneficiary designations

Not all assets are transmitted through a will or trust fund. Some assets, like retirement accounts, get passed on to whomever is named as a beneficiary of the account itself. Because of this, it is a good idea to keep a list of all accounts and assets that you own as well as the beneficiaries designated for each, and you should bring that list with you when you speak to an estate planning attorney about setting up a will or trust.

Accounting for assets and debts

Before creating an estate plan, you should make a list of anything you own that you consider valuable, as well as any debts that you owe. You also need to think about whom you want to entrust to carry out your estate plan after you pass away. The person in charge of executing your estate will have to make sure that all debts are paid off from your estate, so you should make sure to speak with the person you designate and let the person know where you keep your documents that detail your assets and debts.

Creating an estate plan can have other benefits as well, such as potentially lowering your or your heirs’ taxes. Before talking with an estate planning attorney, give some thought to what your goals and priorities are for yourself and your loved ones.