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Texas Estate Planning

Everyone should do some basic estate planning—that is, planning to make sure that your wishes are followed after your death, your family is spared unnecessary expense and delay, and that someone you trust will be in charge if you ever become unable to manage things on your own.  

The estate planning documents that all Texas adults need include:  

  • a will, to leave your assets and name your executor
  • a durable power of attorney for finances, to name someone to take care of your finances if it’s ever necessary
  • a living will (in Texas, called a Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates or just an advance directive), to spell out your end-of-life wishes, and  
  • a medical power of attorney, to name someone to make sure your health care wishes are honored.

Texas residents may also want to consider probate-avoidance. Although Texas probate is simple compared to that of many other states, many people prefer to avoid probate court proceedings altogether, saving their families money and hassle. But to avoid probate, you’ll need do some planning ahead of time; if you don’t, your family may have to conduct a probate court proceeding, to get authority to transfer your assets to the people who inherit them. Probate can be easily avoided with a living trust or other methods.

The articles below cover the basics of Texas estate planning issues.

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