You should have other basic estate planning documents for matters to go smoothly in the event of your death.
Last Will and Testament
The last will and testament is the most well-known and basic document related to death. A will outlines your wishes regarding personal property by designating beneficiaries. You can list specific items that you want certain individuals to receive or state that all of your estate goes to certain or multiple persons. You can also designate the person you want to manage your estate after you die. If a beneficiary is under age, you can designate someone to manage property you leave to the beneficiary until legal age is reached.
Revocable Transfer on Death Deed
The revocable transfer on death deed is a relatively new legal instrument created by the Texas legislature. The document transfer real property to the person you designate upon your death without having to go through probate. You must file the document with the county clerk prior to death, and if you later change your mind, you can revoke it.
While guardianships are typically used as a “last resort,” sometimes appointing a guardianship is necessary. An example is when you suffer from dementia and your wishes are no longer in your best interests.
Some facts about guardianships are as follows:
They identify a person or persons you wish to manage your financial affairs (guardian of the estate) and your living arrangements and medical affairs (guardian of the person) in case you are later incapacitated.
They can help limit conflict among persons qualified to act as guardian.
Guardians are appointed in a court proceeding and are required to report to the court annually and obtain court permission for most actions.
Minor Child Guardianships
If you are the primary conservator of your child and do not want the other parent to manage the child’s estate if you die or do not want the child to live with the surviving parent, establishing a guardianship may be in the child’s best interests. A guardianship identifies the person or persons you wish to manage the financial affairs, living arrangements and medical affairs for your child in case of your death. The guardian would not have rights equal to the rights of a surviving parent, but a guardian designation may provide a legal standing for the guardian to obtain conservatorship.
Our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates can help you make important decisions about estate planning.