An estate refers to real and/or personal property owned by a person at death. The spectrum of estate planning law involves different works including living will drafting, power of attorney, trusts and other important documents to ease the handover and management of one’s property after death.
In case, someone dies without leaving a will and the estates are not properly managed, the assets are passed to the immediate of kin. Without making a will or a proper estate plan, you actually lose control over your estate and fail to dictate how the property will be distributed when you will be no more.
Important Terms of Estate Planning
Followings are some important terms pertaining to estate planning law:
- Interstate: Having no valid will before death; having no plan to distribute property by a valid will.
- Probate: The legal procedure of transferring property upon the owner’s death, particularly if there is no will.
- Advanced Directive: A document on a person’s wishes about medical treatment in case of incapacitation.
- Inheritance: Acquisition of personal or real property, sometimes by a will or usually according to the laws of intestacy.
- Real Property: Property comprising of buildings, land, crops or other resources attached to the land of improvements or within the same or a structure on the land or a permanent fixture attached to it.
Should I hire an estate planning attorney in Texas?
Estate planning involves complexities at different steps. Adding to the situations are the individual’s health and other factors. That is why, everyone practically needs an estate planning attorney at some point in their life. Some families create a trust which is similar to a will but helps in property management before death.
Here are some common reasons why you should hire an estate planning attorney:
- Wills: Legal document clearly mentioning transfer and management of one’s property and assets after death.
- Living Wills: Legal document specifying medical treatment and end-of-life wishes if you fail to communicate these wishes.
- Trusts: Fiduciary/legal arrangement of one party’s holding the legal title to another’s asset as a trustee or managing the property on their behalf, akin to a will, but specifies use or transfer of property during life.
- Overall Estate Planning: Estate planning lawyers often work with their clients to recommend the options available to the clients. The complete working procedure is based on a person’s estate, his preferences and ambitions in life.
Practice Areas Related to Estate Planning
Estate planning, like other specialities, overlaps with different practice areas of laws such as:
- Family Law
- Real Estate
- Elder Law
Ask your attorney how estate planning laws can safeguard your assets as well as close ones
You should ask your lawyer various questions pertaining to real estate planning. One of the most important questions to be asked is how estate planning laws can protect your loved ones and their assets. No one likes to talk about death but that is the ultimate reality in everyone’s life. A well-planned strategy will detail what is likely to happen to your estate upon your death. Consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer is a good idea to prepare a tailored-made plan as per your particular needs.