In Texas and around the country, there are free resources that can be found online to help you execute estate plans. Some of these free documents include wills, powers of attorney and common health care directives. However, documents are not all you need to prepare a proper estate plan. It can be helpful to have an advisor who actually assists in planning for unforeseen events that could occur.
The basics of estate planning
Making an estate plan rests on three basic planning principles. You must consider what has happened in your past, what is happening presently, and what could likely happen in your future. An estate planner shines in planning for what could happen to you in the future based on what has occurred in the past. Their job is to help you examine your goals for the future, and speculate on occurrences that could prevent you from reaching those goals. Then, estate planning personnel develop legal documents to establish directives to protect your assets should those situations occur.
Examples of the unexpected
There are many circumstances that free estate planning tools will typically never account for. An example would be if you get married and you decide you want to leave all your assets to your wife if you pass away before her. However, you purchased a life insurance policy before you were married, and your beneficiary is your mom. If you passed away, those life insurance proceeds would go to your mother instead of to your wife.
Another example would be if your children got in some sort of trouble and had legal judgments against them. If you passed away, those judgments would be paid from the inheritance you left to your children. So, money you intended for your children would end up going to other people.
The real value of estate planning
Essentially, estate planning could provide peace of mind for you and your family. It may offer some reassurance that, if unplanned events occur, it is likely that a plan will be in place to protect those you love. Utilizing an experienced estate planning attorney could help to anticipate future events and provide for the ability to take advantage of opportunities when presented.