Texas Wills FAQs

Texas Wills FAQs

Questions About Wills

How To Find A Will In Texas

Everyone asks themselves about what will happen to their estate when they are no longer alive. Here is where estate planning becomes very important. A Will is a tool you can use to ensure that your loved one’s financial welfare is protected after your death. Here are the most frequently asked questions about Texas Wills and estate planning:

What Does Estate Planning Mean?

Estate Planning Questions

Texas Wills FAQsPeople often associate estate planning with wealthy individuals but anyone can engage in estate planning.  Estate planning involves deciding how your assets will be managed and distributed, and who will make decisions about your health when you are no longer able to do so.  That means that you can accomplish your goals of distributing assets and personal care, which gives you peace of mind.

You can have all sorts of estate plans such as plans to reduce taxes on your assets and plans to ensure that your loved ones are well taken care of even when you are no longer here. Without making your wishes known, the state of Texas will step in and make those decisions on your behalf.

What Documents Should I Include In My Estate Plan?

Questions For Estate Planning

Documents to add to your estate plan include:

  • A Will:  A Will expresses your wishes about how your property should be distributed to your heir or beneficiaries after your death.  When a person dies without a Will, their property is distributed according to Texas law, which may not be necessarily how you would have done it.
  • A Living Will: It is also referred to as an advanced healthcare directive.  This legal document is a tool to make people know the end-of-life decisions you wish to be made when you are incapacitated.  That means choosing an agent or someone you trust with your medical information to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you can no longer make these decisions yourself.
  • A medical power of attorney:  You use this document to appoint a person or persons to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated.
  • A Durable Power of Attorney: Incapacitation can prevent an individual from making important financial decisions. This document gives a third party the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf when you can no longer make these decisions.

What Happens When A Person Is Incapacitated Without A Medical Power Of Attorney

Common Estate Planning Questions

In case a person does not have a medical power of attorney or durable power of attorney, a legal guardian can be appointed. This is necessary because being incapacitated means that person has lost the ability to care for themselves and can no longer manage their finances.  A court appoints a legal guardian after an application is filed and a hearing is held.

The guardian does the following:

  • Consent to medical treatment on behalf of the incapacitated person
  • Care for the person by providing clothing, food, supervision, and shelter
  • Manage the property and financial affairs of the incapacitated person

What does “executor” mean?

Questions About Estate Planning

The term “executor” refers to an individual nominated by the decedent in a will to distribute the decedent’s property to their heirs.  An executor also protects the assets in the estate and ensures that the taxes owed by the estate and debts are paid.