“It is the single most loving thing you can do for the family you leave behind.”
– Channa Borman
Guidance with Estate Planning
Life will eventually end — that’s reality. When the end comes, your family will be grieving your loss and facing emotional challenges. Do you want them also to be burdened with sorting out your financial affairs then, when they’re emotionally tapped out and in no shape to deal with them? Be proactive and make arrangements in advance. We take a common sense approach to helping you make estate planning arrangements by discussing:
- What assets you own and how they can be transferred
- What debts you owe and how they will be paid after your death
- How and to whom you want your estate to pass upon your death
- Who you trust to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime if you become incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions
When you’re planning for your future and the future of your family, we know the options available to you, and can help you make sound decisions.
Estate Planning Documents
The most common documents used in estate planning include:
Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)
This legal document lets you designate another person (known as your “agent”) to handle your financial matters and can be made effective immediately or made effective only if your doctor certifies in writing that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. If not immediately effective, the doctor’s certification is necessary for a DPOA to “work,” as a key is necessary for a car to “work.” When creating the DPOA, you are able to indicate what powers you grant to your agent or grant the agent all powers, without limitation.
Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA)
Through a MPOA, the person you designate (your “agent”) is given the right to make medical decisions on your behalf. As with the Durable POA, the effective date of the MPOA is identified at the time the MPOA is signed, either effective immediately or effective only after a doctor’s certification of incapacity.
Directive to Physicians
Commonly referred to as a “Living Will,” this document allows you to state your preferences as to the extent of use of life sustaining measures in case you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. Preferences may include: all extreme life sustaining measures; only those measures necessary to keep you comfortable; or the functional equivalent of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) statement for a hospital.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) is a federal law that makes all your health and medical information private and restricted from disclosure to others absent your specific authorization. A HIPAA release authorizes the release of that information to those persons you designate and is necessary so that your MPOA agent may obtain information necessary to make decisions affecting your health.
While you have your faculties and before you experience a mental incapacity (dementia, for example), you can designate a person to act as guardian of your estate, to handle your financial affairs, and designate a person to act as guardian of your person, to handle your living arrangements and medical affairs, should the appointment of a guardian later become necessary. Guardianships are generally last resort measures, but pre-emptively designating a guardian can avoid conflict among multiple persons who could qualify to be guardians. Guardians are court-appointed; they must report to the court annually and obtain court permission for most actions.
Guardian for Minor Child Designation
This legal document designates the person you would want to handle the financial affairs, living arrangements and medical concerns of your minor child in the event of your death or incapacity. Establishing a guardianship is useful when you feel a surviving parent would not be the best person to manage the child’s estate. In addition, a guardianship may provide a standing for the person you choose to obtain conservatorship.
Revocable Transfer on Death Deed
The new Revocable Transfer on Death Deed serves to automatically transfer title to real property to the person you’ve designated in the deed upon your death, eliminating the need to go through probate. Also, should you later change your mind, you can revoke the deed to no effect. To be valid, all deeds must be filed with the county clerk prior to death.
Last Will and Testament
A will formally states who you want to receive your property after you die. The bequests can be specific and list particular items to particular persons, or the will may state that one or more persons receive all of your estate in whatever ration you state. A will also allows you to designate the person you want to manage your estate after your death and/or manage the property for underage beneficiaries until they reach majority.
Contact Us For a Consultation
At C.E. Borman & Associates, we put our experience to work for you. Call our office today at (979) 846-4090 or contact us online to to arrange an appointment and discuss your legal problem with an attorney.
Our law firm represent clients in Bryan, College Station, Hearne, Franklin, Madisonville and other surrounding cities in Texas.
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C.E. Borman & Associates has been selected for the 2014 College Station Best Businesses Award for Divorce & Family Law