National Estate Planning Awareness Week: October 19-25, 2020

By Margaret Menicucci, Attorney & Counselor

Along with cooler weather, October brings National Estate Planning Awareness Week! This is the perfect time to think about the condition (or even existence) of your estate plan. Estate planning enables you to: protect your assets during your life; plan for your disability; give what you own to whom you want, in the way you want them to receive it; manage or avoid probate; and minimize taxes. Regardless of the size of your estate, what you own, or what your family circumstances may be, a comprehensive estate plan is an essential tool for everyone. It is a “life-plan,” and does not just concern what happens to your assets when you pass away. Your estate planning can help you protect assets during your life, to enjoy them and where possible, provide a legacy to your family or friends. It is motivated out of love for family, friends, and personal causes. If you already have an estate plan, it is equally important to keep it up to date to reflect major events in your life including a change in assets, changes in the composition of your family, and the growth and independence of your children.

When There is No Plan

When someone dies without a will, probate costs can be 2-3 times higher than probate with a will, and that is assuming there is no conflict or challenge. Without a plan for your estate, your assets will pass under the Texas statutes. Without a plan for your disability, your family may be faced with costly court proceedings for guardianship or the establishment of trusts. The “No Plan” plan is the most expensive plan for you and your loved ones, and can produce difficult or disastrous results.

How to Get Started

Some clients appreciate the opportunity to gather together and organize all their personal and financial information at the start of the planning process. Other clients simply want to get their questions answered and need time to think. In most cases, you can save time and money in the preparation of your estate plan by gathering information on your own when you start discussing the plan with your attorney. We provide clients with an estate planning worksheet when we begin representation, to assist you in organizing the information. We will follow up with design meetings that identify the tools necessary to accomplish your goals.

At Braun & Gresham, we want to help you create a thorough estate plan that reflects your care for your loved ones and protects the integrity of your legacy and wishes. To learn more about estate planning and probate, explore our Web page at: https://braungresham.com/estate-planning/ and review our blogs about Planning for Your Disability to Protect Your Legacy and Updating your Estate Plan.

We are here when you are ready to get started. Contact us at 512-894-5426 or mmenicucci@braungresham.com.

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