Estate Planning

What Is It?

Estate planning involves determining how an individual’s assets will be preserved, managed, and distributed after death or in the event they become incapacitated. Planning tasks include making a will, setting up trusts and/or making charitable donations to limit estate taxes, naming an executor and beneficiaries, and setting up funeral arrangements.

 

Estate Planning typically involves the following legal documents:

  • A Will is a legal document that provides instructions on how an individual’s property and custody of minor children, if any, should be handled after death.

  • A Trust is a legal document that can be created in addition to your Will and can keep certain assets out of the probate process altogether. 

  • A Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints someone else to do certain actions on your behalf while you are incapacitated or mentally impaired. In Texas, we have the following types of Powers of Attorney:

  • Durable: a DOPA is a general power of attorney that gives the agent the authority to act in a broad range of matters over your assets, including real property and bank accounts.

  • Medical: a MPOA gives the agent the authority to make medical treatment decisions for you if you come mentally or physically unable to make your own medical decisions. 

  • Advanced Directives: Advance Directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. In Texas, we have the following: 

    • Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates:  The DPFS helps you communicate your wishes about medical treatment if: (1) you were suffering from a terminal condition from which you were expected to die within six months; or (2) you had an irreversible condition that disabled you from caring for yourself or make decisions for yourself and you are expected to die without life-sustaining treatment.

    • Declaration for Mental Health Treatment (DMHT): The DMHT allows you to make decisions in advance about three (3) areas of mental health treatment: psychoactive medication, convulsive therapy and emergency mental health treatment. The DMHT will be followed only if a court believes that you are incapacitated to make treatment decisions.

    • Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate (OOH-DNR) Order: The OOH-DNR instructs emergency medical personnel and other health care professionals to forgo resuscitation attempts and to permit the patient to have a natural death with peace and dignity while the patient is outside the hospital. This order does NOT affect the provision of other emergency care including comfort care or in hospital care. 

Why Is It Important

A Will provides instructions on how an individual’s property, debts, and custody of minor children, if any, should be handled after death. Without a Will that directs where your property goes to after death, the following occurs to your property & assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks complicated, right? Call an expert today at 512.291.6952.

If you have a large estate, various strategies can be used to limit taxes on an estate, from creating trusts to making charitable donations.

 

Who Needs It​

From both personal and professional experience, having everything already decided when the time comes for you to pass is a gift to your family. 

 

The term “gift” may seem a bit strong, but think about it - your family, especially your spouse and children (i.e. the ones who will have to make decisions if you don’t) are beside themselves with grief. 

 

Thinking about questions like, “who did Grandma want to give her antique silver necklace to?” or, “what did Grandma think about cremation?” aren’t really questions they’re prepared to answer… until they absolutely have to. 

Other than everyone needing one, there are a few specific reasons that give you even more of a reason to set up an estate plan:

  • You had a new baby

  • You plan on traveling internationally (and have children)

  • You’re about to get married/just got married

  • You own a business (yes, hobbies count!)

  • You have a family Trust

  • Your assets come with liabilities (i.e. owning a public park in the bad part of a big city - high rate of litigation/lawsuits)

  • You want to provide for your family past your children

  • You want to keep an asset in the family 

  • You want to pass down certain family heirlooms

  • You want to give your executor specific instructions on how to administer your estate

  • EVERYONE!

Alleviate them from the pain of going-back-and-forth when making decisions for your funeral and how to administer your estate’s assets and debts by calling the best estate planning attorneys in Round Rock! The estate planning lawyers at Fergus & Tomanka law firm are here to help you safeguard your future and the well-being of those you care about. We offer trusted legal guidance through the estate planning process and provide practical solutions tailored to your individual needs. 

Call (512) 291-6952 to setup a consultation with one of our attorneys
OR simply Make An Appointment on your own!
Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 10.42.55 PM.png