Creating an estate plan is a bit like going to the dentist; in that most of us know we should do it, but there's always an excuse to put if off a little while longer. In fact, over half of all Americans have yet to create an estate plan. One common excuse people give for not having an estate plan is they don't yet need one. So, when should you talk to an estate planning attorney about creating your estate plan? The answer is simple. Every adult should have at least a basic estate plan in place. … [Read more...] about When Should You Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney about Creating Your Estate Plan?
Estate planning is something the many people put off. In fact, surveys show that less than half of all Americans have an estate plan in place. Even fewer have a comprehensive estate plan that includes an incapacity plan. People put off creating an estate plan for a variety of reasons. Many of those same reasons are given when asked why an individual does not have an incapacity plan in place. At the top of the list of explanations are “I don’t need one”, “I don’t want to dwell on my … [Read more...] about Incapacity Planning – 5 Important Reasons Why You Need an Incapacity Plan
When incapacity strikes it can cause a number of practical problems in addition to the emotional toll it takes on family and loved ones. If the incapacitated individual failed to create an incapacity plan, deciding how to manage property and acquiring the legal authority to do so can be complicated and time consuming. Understanding what options you have for property management upon incapacity is a good place to start if you suddenly find yourself in this position. When most people think of … [Read more...] about Alternatives for Property Management upon Incapacity
A well drafted estate plan should be able to accomplish a variety of goals as well as incorporating numerous objectives into the plan. Of course, deciding how your estate assets will be distributed upon your death remains the primary goal of any estate plan; however, your plan may also include additional components such as an incapacity plan. In order to understand why including an incapacity plan is such a good idea we need to first answer the question "what is incapacity?" If you are like … [Read more...] about What Is Incapacity?
Similar to estate planning testamentary formalities, you must comply with the statutory formalities required for DNR Orders. You must sign your DNR-OOH Order in front of at least two witnesses. If you are unable to sign the document and authorize someone else to sign it on your behalf, the third-party signing agent must do it in front of at least two witnesses. In some circumstances, you may also be able to sign in front of a notary if you cannot find two witnesses, but the notary may not be … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 3 of 3
In the last blog, we discussed why you would want to draft an OOH-DNR or Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order as part of your estate planning documents. Now, we will cover what is necessary to create a valid order. First, you must be at least 18 years old to create a valid OOH-DNR Order and be mentally competent, which requires you to be of sound mind when signing and creating the document. At the very least, you should be able to understand that what you are signing and its implications. … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 2 of 3
Also known as “Do Not Resuscitate” Orders, DNRs allow you to order doctors or other hospital personnel to withhold treatment in certain situations. Talk to our office about making a DNR Order a part of your estate planning documents. Texas recognizes In-Hospital DNRs and Out-of-Hospital DNRs. Although similar, Out-of-Hospital DNR Orders direct nonhospital staff, including emergency medical personnel. Typically, emergency medical personnel refer to paramedics and hospital emergency room … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 1 of 3
Medicine is a rapidly developing science. Every year brings new advances in technology that can help sustain life longer than the previous year. This actually creates problems in preparing for your own end of life care. A Living Will might no longer be an appropriate document if you do not want your life to be sustained by artificial means. Living Wills typically state that if you are suffering from a terminal condition with no hope of recovery that doctors should not sustain your life by … [Read more...] about Are Living Wills Obsolete?
If you have a trust, it is extremely important that you appoint someone responsible as the person to take over as trustee when you are no longer able to do so. It is called a "trust" for a reason. You need to appoint someone trustworthy who will look after the trust's financial interests. Consider the current issue surrounding the trust of Susan Strong Davis. She is 87 years old and has dementia, so she is no longer handling her affairs or her trust's. Instead, a man named James E. Larkin whom … [Read more...] about Appoint a Trustee You Can Trust
Long term care in a nursing home can be very expensive. If you do not plan properly, you can lose most of your assets before Medicaid will start paying for your care. Because you do not know whether or not you will need it, planning for the possibility of long term care should be a part of your overall estate plan. You have several options to plan for long term care. In Texas, you even have a unique option that is not available in most other states. In Texas, you can use a particular type of … [Read more...] about Planning for Long Term Care