Estate Planning is Not Just for the Wealthy

Many people think that only very rich people need an estate plan, but estate planning involves much more than creating a Will to decide who should inherit your millions of dollars. Even ordinary people on a modest income need to plan for the future. Let’s look at some of the important estate planning documents everyone should have.

Make Sure Your Finances are Handled

If you should become incapacitated wouldn’t you want to know that your finances are in the hands of someone you trust?  By assigning a Power of Attorney you can give specific instructions about how you want your money managed if you are unable to make or communicate those decisions. Without a Power of Attorney, family members won’t have direction from you and that can lead to confusion and unnecessary arguments.

Ensure Medical Decisions are Carried Out

Everyone has a different perspective when it comes to their health and treatment options in the event of a serious illness or accident. If you become unable to express your preferences, it’s important to have a Medical Power of Attorney that designates who will make those important decisions for you. Choose someone you trust and talk to them about your wishes so they know how to represent you in any situation that might arise.

Take Caregiving to a New Level

Guardianship ensures protection for the well-being and assets of loved ones who cannot take care of themselves anymore. Your estate plan should include a Declaration of Guardian document to make sure someone you trust would have legal responsibility for your care. Too many families are torn apart by disputes that could have easily been avoided with clear communication in a Declaration of Guardian document.

As you can see, estate planning isn’t just for the celebrities of the world earning millions of dollars a year. It’s for anyone who may become incapacitated or pass away–which is all of us. The future has too many what-ifs to worry about, but having your legal affairs in order shouldn’t be one of them.


Legislative Change in Probate Law

January 1st marked the replacement of the Probate Code with the “new” Estates Code. The good news is that not much has changed from the 60 year old code.  The Texas Legislative Council revised the program to “clarify and simplify the statutes and to make the statutes more accessible, understandable, and usable.”

Overview of new Estates Code:

  • Organizes statues in a logical order
  • Removes duplicates, outdated, unconstiutional and other provisions that have been made over the years
  • Creates a numbering system that allows for expansion on laws in the future
  • Uses modern American-English to help readers understand the law
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Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham

Debbie Cunningham is an Irving attorney providing affordable estate planning to the Dallas/ Fort-Worth areas. She understands the steps you should take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Debbie is family-focused and wants to ensure her clients are fully informed on the options that are available for their families. Debbie’s own blended family has given her valuable insights into the complexities of family dynamics.

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