New Year’s Resolution: Get Your Estate Plan Done

It’s the start of a new year; a great time to start a new workout regimen, de-clutter your house, and make personal improvements that will carry you for the rest of your life. It’s also an excellent time to mark an important item off of your to-do list that you have been procrastinating on for a while now: getting your estate plan done.

No, it’s not the most exciting item to cross off your list. Nobody wants to think about the inevitable. But having an estate plan is about more than that. It’s about protecting your family, your loved ones, and yourself in variety of possible scenariGet Your Estate Plan Done Houstonos.  Listed below are some of the components of an estate plan and how they can be beneficial to you:

  • A Simple Will – not only describes how you’d like your assets distributed, but also describes who you’d like to leave in charge of any minors under your care or any adults you may be serving as guardian for.
  • The Medical Power of Attorney – outlines who you want making medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so
  • The Durable Power of Attorney – outlines who you want making financial decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so
  • The Directive to Physicians – outlines your desire to be or not be put on life support
  • The Declaration of Guardian – describes who you want to be named guardian (take care of you) in the event you are unable to physically or mentally do so yourself
  • The HIPAA Waiver – describes who you want to have access to your medical records in the event of an emergency

As you can see, estate plans protect you and your family in varying circumstances.

Getting your estate plan done does not have to be a painful process. In fact, with a good estate planning attorney, it can be a positive experience and leave you with a sense of relief that you have finally gotten rid of that one item looming over your head.

And it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. The Schwartz Law Firm has made getting your estate plan done more affordable than ever. Click here to learn about our current estate plan specials.

Merry Christmas From The Schwartz Law Firm

Merry Christmas, from the Schwartz Law Firm!

Merry Christmas 2015

Advanced Directives Not Just For Seniors

One of the more tragic stories in the news this year involved the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston. Aside from the suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely death, the public became familiar with the contentious battle between Bobby Brown and the Houston family to keep Bobbi Kristina on life support, despite the bleak prognosis given by her doctors.

Witnessing Bobbi Kristina’s plight over the past 5 months illustrates the importance of estate planning, regardless of your age. For example, had Bobbi Kristina executed Advanced Directive to Physicians, or a Living Will, she would have determined her own preference for life sustaining treatment, thereby eliminating the confusion and stress caused by family members and their inability to agree on a course of action.

I Have the Will, Now What Do I Do?

LastWillAs a Houston Probate Attorney, one of the most common issues I encounter relates to family members not knowing what to do with a will once their loved one has passed on. Understandably, discussing the proper steps handling a loved one’s estate is rarely discussed amongst family members before the loved one passes away. Here are a few things to consider when your loved one has died and left a will behind:

1. Consult with a Probate Attorney. In Texas, probate laws are unique and ever-changing. It is difficult for an attorney who is unexperienced in probate to efficiently and effectively advise you on the best course of action as it relates to your deceased loved one’s estate. A probate attorney will help you to best navigate your particular situation and ensure everything is done correctly.

2. Have the Will Admitted into Probate. Your attorney will likely advise you to initiate the probate process as soon as practicable. In Texas, a decedent’s will must be probated within 4 years of his or her death, absent extraordinary circumstances. However, in order to access or transfer title to certain assets of your deceased loved one, having his or her will admitted to probate is required.

3. If you know someone in possession of your loved one’s will and either refuses to let you see the will, or initiate the probate process, consult with a probate attorney on how to “get the ball rolling.”

Question: What is Probate? Click here to learn.

 

Welcome to My Blog!

WelcomeI’m just writing a quick note today since this is my first official blog post on  my website. Every week, I will publish short articles, tips, quotes, and information relevant for those of you interested in anything related to Texas Probate, Wills & Estate Planning, Texas Guardianship, and Criminal Law.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me via email at info@schwartzlawhouston.com or by phone at 713-834-1190. I’m happy to hear from you.