Have you ever thought about what will happen when you are gone? 

In general, no one wants to think about that possibility. Still, we are here to explain some steps you should take to keep your family unified and stress-free when it happens. Today, our blog will be about estate planning and when it is wise to start it. 

Estate planning has many misconceptions, like the fact that only married people, couples with children, or older adults should do it. However, this is not true, as any adult can find huge benefits in estate planning. Unfortunately, only about one-third of adult Americans have started estate planning. 

What documents do you need in estate planning?

No two estate plans are the same because every individual has different family dynamics, financial circumstances, and goals. However, even though they are not always the same, every estate plan will include the following documents: 

  1. Last Will and Testament: This will communicate your wishes about distributing your assets. This document will become effective after your death. 
  2. Trusts: A trust is a legal vehicle that allows a separate entity to manage funds for a beneficiary. They can serve different purposes; one of the most important is putting the asset into an account and distributing them without probate. The probate process verifies the validity of a will. 
  3. Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney allows a person to be in charge of making decisions on your assets if you are not able to, for example, if you have some illness or become incapacitated. 
  4. Healthcare documents: These documents will help guide any medical decisions that need to be made if you are incapacitated. These documents will state things like what type of nutrition you would like to have if you are unable to feed yourself. 

At the Law Office of Victor Garza, we believe that anyone above the age of 18 should start estate planning now. Life is uncertain, so it is always better to be prepared for what could come next. 

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