Maybe calling it “Estate Planning” doesn't tell the whole story. Let me explain…
A few days ago I saw someone make a shout out to their Estate Planning lawyer in their Facebook status (can you believe it?! — that is one awesome client). They had really kind words and encouraged their friends and family to get their own estate plans. I then read the comments. People jokingly referred to the person as “fancy”. I didn't think anything of it at first but then I realized that some people think an estate plan is fancy. Well, let me just tell you…. most estate plans anything but fancy. Have you ever looked up synonyms for fancy? I pulled out the old thesaurus (the online thesaurus that is) and here are some of the synonyms I found for fancy: ornate ornamental, decorative, ostentatious, extravagant, ritzy. None of these words accurately describe an estate plan. A better word is essential.
It’s absolutely essential.
Unfortunately, most people don't realize it until its too late and they are stuck having to go though unwanted legal processes and spend thousands of dollars just to take care of their loved ones and prove that they in fact should have access to what is theirs. Delivering the news that we have to go through an longer legal process is the one thing I dislike about my job. It’s disappointing to tell people that this legal mess could have been completely avoided with a just a few properly executed documents.
In an effort to keep myself from having to continue to deliver disappointing news. Here are the essential documents every Texas family should have:
Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
Medical Power of Attorney
Directive to Physicians
Declaration of Guardian
Appointment of Guardian for Minor Children
Last Will and Testament