Estate planning is a very broad term in Jefferson County, Texas, referring to a person's arrangements on issues that affect them and their family toward the end of their life. These might include instructions for end-of-life care, as well as drafting a will or other document with the intent of disposing of one's property after their death.
The creation of a will (the document laying out what is to be done with your property after your death) is an essential element of an estate plan, but it is typically not the only element. There are many other important things that most estate plans should include.
In addition to a well-drafted will, a comprehensive estate plan should include things like a living will (healthcare directives made in advance, in case you become incapacitated and unable to make or express such decisions), funeral instructions, and instructions relating to organ donations.
Crucially, your plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your children, if they are minors. However you should first discuss this matter with the person who you intend to take custody of your children in case something happens to you, to make sure they are willing and able to do so.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Jefferson County, Texas?
Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some general considerations in making this decision, however, are your health, age, and the amount of assets involved.
Unmarried young adults usually don't think much about estate planning. In most cases, this is fine. Unless you are extremely sick or have an unusually large amount of assets, estate planning is not something to really worry about at this point in your life.
If you are unmarried, but have a life partner in Jefferson County, Texas, estate planning is crucial, if you wish for your life partner to be treated as if he or she were your spouse (to the extent possible). In such a situation, the estate plan should make arrangements to give your life partner power of attorney in case you become incapacitated. Your will should also clearly include your partner (if you wish for them to inherit any of your assets).
There is another considerable group of people who would benefit from having a good Jefferson County, Texas estate plan: the elderly and those with a lot of money really need to consider making a comprehensive estate plan as soon as possible. While this necessarily includes facing some uncomfortable realities, it is important and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Jefferson County, Texas Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Jefferson County, Texas is not always simple, the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney will almost certainly be useful, and worth the cost. This is doubly true because of how important the issues involved can be, and the fact that a relatively minor mistake can sometimes derail an entire estate plan.