Texas Estate Planning

The term estate planning has different meanings to different people. However, in the context of planning for someone’s estate at death, the term involves not only the creation of Wills and Trusts but also the creation of powers of attorney, living Will, and any tax planning provisions that may save estate taxes at death.

Because the federal government imposes taxes on estates over a certain value, it is important to evaluate whether or not strategies exist to save taxes at death. These provisions can easily be incorporated into a well-drafted Will.

Additionally, the creation of powers of attorney is extremely important. Powers of attorney allow someone to designate another person to make medical and financial decisions for them in the event that they are incapacitated. These documents are relevant only when someone is still alive, but they are currently incapable of making appropriate decisions for themselves. In most cases, people designate a spouse and/or trusted family member or friend to make these decisions.

In the wake of the Terry Schiavo case, many people also feel the need to have a living will, which is also known as a Directive to Physicians. This document is a directive to your doctors to either apply or withhold life sustaining treatment in the event that you are either terminal or in an irreversible condition such that you will not live unless life support is applied.

When considering your estate planning, it is important to consider each of these elements. Each element is important, and they all need to be addressed and incorporated as part of a comprehensive estate plan.

Copyright ©2007, Ford & Mathiason LLP, a Texas Estate Planning and Probate firm. Used with permi