Hold it! No matter what your age or stage of life you need to read this - the information in this blog is not just for your parents or grandparents! Ask Demar Hamlin, defensive safety for the Baltimore Bills! Wearing #3 (some might see 3 as a significant number) on his jersey he was living his dream – starting safety for the Buffalo Bills! You already know the story!
During the January 2, 2023, Monday night game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, #3 fell suddenly in full cardiac arrest following what appeared to be a normal tackle. He was without a pulse and not breathing – dead at the young age of 24! Thankfully he was resuscitated within minutes and after a little more than a week in the hospital was released to fly home to Buffalo. A happy ending and we wish him a full recovery!
DISCLAIMER:The Geni Manning Real Estate Group does not provide legal, accounting or tax advice and nothing in this blog is intended to imply any recommendation. Information in this blog is provided as information only. We strongly suggest that you consult an estate attorney and accountant for advice on the specifics of your estate planning. We have a number of highly qualified individuals and firms that we partner with to help you regarding how to protect your estate assets from Probate and minimize estate taxes.
No one, at any age, ever plans to be sick or disabled, especially to die suddenly and without warning. Yet, we know that life is fragile and we are only one breath away from eternity. This is why we want to introduce you to estate planning to help you make the difference for your loved ones.
There is a false concept that estate planning is only for the wealthy – it’s not! When a family member dies intestate (without a will or other estate plan) the impact to the family can be significant. We wrote this blog to help you begin and to understand some important information on the key first steps to get your earthly affairs in order. We’re also available to help you get your spiritual affairs in order - we want you to be well-prepared not only to depart this life but for the life to come! As we work with our ‘Senior’ clients we find so much of the following information has been overlooked and yet it is important for all of us – at nearly any age! I am certain 24 year old Demar Hamlin would agree!
Make sure all bank accounts have direct beneficiaries. The beneficiary need only go to the bank with your death certificate and an ID of their own. A convenient way of ensuring your selected heir has access to your bank and financial accounts is to add a Transfer On Death (TOD) designation to each bank or financial account.
Transfer On Death (TOD) can also be used for the deed to your home. Completing this document and filing it with your county clerk saves your heirs thousands. This document allows the transfer of ownership of your home to your designee upon death. All that needs to be done is to take their ID and your death certificate to the county building, pay the minimal recording fee and the deed is transferred.
Wills and Testaments
Living Will: Allows one to put in writing exactly what you want done in the event you cannot speak for yourself when it comes to healthcare decisions as well as other final decisions.
Last Will and Testament: Designates to whom personal belongings will go.
Powers of Attorney
Durable Power of Attorney: Allows one to designate a person to make legal decisions if you are no longer competent to do so.
Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This document allowsone to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for them if they are incapacitated or otherwise unable to make the decisions themselves.
Funeral Planning Declaration: Allows one to say exactly one’s wishes as far as disposition of the body and the services.
Revocable Living Trusts in Texas
A revocable living trust in Texas allows you to use your assets during your lifetime and then securely transfer them to your beneficiaries after your passing. A revocable living trust (also called an inter vivos trust) offers a variety of benefits as one important estate planning tool. Revocable living trusts help you protect your privacy, as well as the privacy of your beneficiaries while minimizing estate taxes and avoiding probate. A revocable living trust can be modified through your life and can automatically become irrevocable upon your passing. One of the best features of the revocable living trust is that it completely bypasses probate process saving your heirs the time, difficulty and expense of a potentially drawn-out probate process. See our webpage dedicated toProbate information and issues - what may or what may not able to be withheld.
If the above documents are done, you can likely AVOID probate. If all the above is not done, an estate account will need to opened at bank and all funds that don’t have direct beneficiaries goes into this account. An attorney will have to open the estate account. The attorney also has to publicize your passing in the newspaper or post publication at the county courthouse, to allow anyone to make a claim on your property. - It’s a complete PAIN and can take a long time and a lot of money depending on the circumstances.
Make a list of all banks, safety deposit box numbers with keys, financial account numbers, investment institutions with account numbers, lists of credit cards, utility accounts, etc. Leave clear instructions as to how and when these things are paid. Make sure your attorney or heirs know where life insurance policies are located.
Make 100% sure someone trustworth knows your Apple ID, bank ID account logins and passwords to all of your financial accounts!
Make certain you have titles and registration for all cars, trucks, motorcycles, campers, airplanes, boats, Personal Water Craft (PWC), etc.!
MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!! Talk with those closest to you and make your wishes known. Talk to those whom you’ve designated, as well as those close to you whom you did not designate. Making your decisions clear will help to avoid any lingering questions or hurt feelings.
Hope this helps! It is our desire that this will ignite a spark to encourage you, your friends and family to take care of these things to make it easier for those we leave behind!
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