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Essential Components of an Estate Plan

There are five essential components of a Texas estate plan.

  • A Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney (Financial)
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Directive to Physicians (Living Will)
  • Declaration of Guardian in Event of Later Need

A Will

A will is an essential part of any estate plan. A properly drafted Will addresses at least two things. A Will states to whom your property will go when you pass away. If you don't have a will when you die, the State of Texas decided who gets your things. You may not like the state's plan. Second, a Will describes who will manage the things and debts you left behind (your "executor"). For parents of young children and children with special needs, it is even more crucial to have a will. A will is the primary way for you to legally specify who will be your child's guardian in the event of your death. In the absence of a will or a legally binding declaration of guardian, the court will determine your child's guardian. Most likely, this person will be a relative, but it may not be the person with whom your child is most comfortable, or who is best equipped to handle your child's needs. To be sure that your child is cared for by the person you think best, you must appoint a guardian through a will.

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