A comprehensive estate plan is vital to the protection of your family and your assets. Regardless of the size of your estate, your age, marital status, family size, or current financial situation, you need to put an estate plan in place before it is needed.
Keep Important Personal Decisions Within Your Control
At some point, we may all have to face the reality of not being able to make medical and financial decisions for ourselves. This may be the result of aging or may be a temporary situation due to unexpected illness or injury. Should you become incapacitated, the decisions about your medical care, personal care, and financial affairs will be in the hands of another person. Without a plan, the individual making these very intimate decisions for you may not be the person you want in that position.
We can help ensure that this does not happen to you. With a good estate plan, we can keep the decisions about your care and finances where they should be — in your hands!
Aging is something no one can avoid. With aging, we must make several difficult decisions about our future, including our desires for long-term care. You do not have to let someone else make these decisions for you. We can help you develop a plan that encompasses the issues faced by seniors, including:
- Long-term Personal Care and Medical Care
- Assisted Living/Nursing Home Care
- General Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney)
- Access to Income Assistance Benefits (Medicaid Planning)
- Advance Medical Directives
- Home Health Care and Hospice Care
- Asset Protection Planning
- Guardianship Planning
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia Planning
Estate Planning and Elder Care Planning — More Than Just a Will or a Power of Attorney
When people think about elder care and estate planning, they usually think about a Last Will and Testament. However, estate planning encompasses much more. Many people think they don’t need, or can’t do, an estate plan.
- “I don’t have an estate.” — Everyone has an estate; you have a checking account, personal property, life insurance, vehicles, real estate, and retirement accounts. Everyone has something they need to protect. Estate planning can do that for you.
- “I am too young to worry about a will or elder care.” — Sadly, death or illness can occur at any age. Once a tragic accident or sudden illness claims your life or prevents you from making decisions for yourself, it is too late. You need to act now to be in control of how your estate is administered and who has the authority to make decisions for you.
- “I don’t have a spouse or kids.” — All the more reason to plan. With no clear heirs at law, it is even more important for you to identify those persons or charities you wish to benefit. It is also even more important that you clearly designate who is to make medical and financial decisions for you should you become incapacitated. Those persons will not have legal authority under the law if you do not include them in your estate plan. Without an estate plan, a court, through an expensive guardianship process, will decide who makes your medical and financial decisions if you are incapacitated. This may be a person you do not even know. Who receives your property after your death, in the absence of an estate plan, will also be determined by a court – and your property may even go to the State government! Avoid this by putting a plan in place now.
- “If I get sick, the doctors will make the best decision for me.” — This may not necessarily be true. If you are unable to make decisions about your medical care, the physician will look to your next of kin to make that decision. Without the proper documents in place, before a tragic event occurs, you may be denied life-sustaining care, or you may be placed on life support. In either case, the person making that decision may not honor your wishes. We can help you draft documents that ensure your wishes regarding medical care are honored even if you cannot speak for yourself.
- “Estate planning is too expensive.” — Estate planning is more affordable than you realize. Our law firm offers a free consultation so that you can get the answers to questions about estate planning in Texas. We want you to feel comfortable in your decision to retain our law firm to help you plan for your future. Therefore, our first concern is answering your questions. We urge you to take advantage of our free consultation to learn more about our services.
Peace of Mind
But the best reason for estate planning is that it gives you peace of mind. Peace of mind that:
- Your family will be cared for if something happens to you;
- You have chosen who will raise your children if neither you nor your spouse can do so;
- No one will make health care decisions for you that you do not agree with;
- Your property is protected from creditors;
- You have taken steps to reduce the burden of taxes and estate costs for your family;
- If you need long-term care, you have taken steps to ensure that you can receive benefits to pay for that care instead of your family losing everything to provide for your care;
- You made it easier for your family to settle your estate by avoiding probate when possible;
- You reduced the chance of family disputes by making your wishes known and your decisions secure; and,
- You preserved your wealth for your beneficiaries
We are dedicated to helping you preserve your dignity and independence during your senior years and to help you preserve your assets for your family. Our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team will provide support and legal guidance as you work through these issues.
Contact our office at 281-727-0016 for a free consultation. Our office happily serves residents of Galveston, Harris, Brazoria, and Fort Bend Counties.