Once you retire in Texas, it’s time to think about the future and ensure that you’ll be passing your financial assets. When you pass away and lack a will, Texas intestacy laws will govern. Unfortunately, the way the state divides up your assets probably isn’t going to match your own wishes.
What does a will do?
No matter how simple your will is, it has the potential to remove much of the uncertainty that your loved ones would otherwise have to deal with after your passing. With this type of document, it’s highly important to make sure it is legally valid.
You’ve likely already selected the beneficiaries of your retirement plan when you started the account. This is generally the case with IRAs and employer plan accounts like 401(k)s, for instance.
But a considerable amount of time may have passed since that decision. Retirement is a good point to double-check the listed beneficiaries that your financial company has on record to ensure that they remain a reflection of your current intentions for your financial assets.
Complete and accurate financial information will be needed when you pass away. It’s helpful and considerate to get organized ahead of time, arranging the information in a comprehensive way. Make sure to let your family know that you’ve taken this step and tell them where you’re keeping the information packet.
Why to consider a trust
Trusts are one way of reducing your estate’s taxes in the future. A trust is an advanced method of transferring your assets to beneficiaries. This estate planning arrangement gives you the most control over the distribution of your assets.
Compared to a will, trusts also tend to be more private. The taxable portion of your estate is often reduced through the use of a trust. In this type of estate plan arrangement, your estate’s administration is handled through an appointed corporate trustee.
A power of attorney is a common way of making your financial accounts accessible. When someone has full power of attorney, they are allowed to cover any medical bills you are faced with by using your assets. This individual won’t be able to make choices on your behalf about the way you are to be cared for, though.
There’s also a limited power of attorney. Someone with this designation is unable to make withdrawals from your accounts but will have the ability to oversee and carry out specific types of approved actions.