Estate Planning Answers to Common Questions
Are you looking for answers to your estate planning questions? Confused about wills, trusts, powers of attorney, directives to physicians, etc.? Call 800-929-1725 for an appointment with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.
We have five offices in Wharton County, Fort Bend County, and Matagorda County. Appointments can be in-person, online, or by phone.
In this article, Attorney Philip Hundl has estate planning answers for two of the most common questions our clients have.
Question: What estate planning documents do I need?
Answer: Depending on the size of your assets and your specific objectives, a person may require a complex estate planning strategy. However, everyone should have at least the basic estate planning documents, which include the following: Will, Directive to Physicians (living will), Medical Power of Attorney, and Statutory Durable Power of Attorney. Your Will should identify your spouse and children, if any, and your assets. In your Will, you should clearly state what you want to happen to your property, both personal and real, after your death. Also, the Will should appoint an independent executor without bond to handle your affairs, revoke any prior wills and provide for a guardian of any minor children.
Question: Upon my death, does all my property pass through my Will?
Answer: Some of your property could pass outside of your Will and would not be subject to probate. Non-probate assets may include certain bank, stock accounts, and U.S. Savings Bonds, depending on how each account is set up. Payable on Death Account (POD) and Multiple-Party Account with Right of Survivorship accounts override the Will and those assets pass outside the Will.
Also, life insurance and retirement benefits will pass outside the Will to the beneficiary named in the insurance policy or the retirement agreement. Therefore, it is important to update beneficiary designations on applicable bank accounts, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
Get the Help You Need to Create Your Estate Plan
Call or text 800-929-1725 for an appointment. Appointments can be online, in-person, or by phone.
Philip J. Hundl is a shareholder in the law firm of Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick with offices in Wharton County, Fort Bend County, and Matagorda County.