If you’re an adult, and if you haven’t yet prepared your will, it’s time to make an appointment with a lawyer who provides estate planning in Conroe, TX. It is worrisome that most Americans pass away intestate, which means they die without a will. When this happens, their estate is subject to inflexible state regulations and guidelines. Additionally, family conflicts over finances and legal guardianship of children may be more likely to occur when a loved one dies intestate. You can protect your family by having a qualified attorney draft your will for you.
Make a List of Your Assets
Before you meet with a lawyer to have your will drafted, you’ll need to make a list of your assets. This is not so much for inclusion into the will, but to give your attorney an idea of what’s involved in the estate. Such a list should include intangible assets such as your bank accounts, along with physical property such as family heirlooms and jewelry. Any assets you have that name a beneficiary, such as a life insurance policies or joint bank accounts, will go to that particular beneficiary. In other words, you cannot use your will to override your beneficiary designations. However, you can change your beneficiary designations, if desired. You can use your will to designate heirs for most all other assets.
Evaluate Prospective Legal Guardians
Choosing a legal guardian for a minor child can be one of the most difficult decisions a parent will face, particularly if there are no obvious candidates available. If you have siblings or other family members, then your will could name one of them to be the legal guardian of your child. However, you should carefully consider whether any particular candidate may be more likely than others to adhere to your preferences for your child’s upbringing. In sum, communication prior to tragedy often limits the scope of that tragedy.
Revisit Your Lawyer Periodically
Estate planning isn’t a “one and done” procedure. As your life circumstances change, so too should your will. Where large estates are involved, it might be wise to make an appointment with your lawyer at least every five years to re-evaluate your situation in light of any recent tax law changes. You should also schedule appointments if you experience a significant change in circumstances, such as the birth of a child, a divorce, a marriage, or the death of a family member if that passing affects your finances.