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Top 5 Texas Estate Planning Questions Answered

Financial Planning, financial advisor San Antonio, estate planning Jan 23rd, 2023 by: Darryl Lyons

When it comes to estate planning, there are a lot of questions that people have. What is the process? What happens if I don't have a plan at all? What are the benefits of planning? This blog post will answer all the questions we hear most often. Keep reading for more information!

 

FOR ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ABOUT ESTATE PLANNING IN SAN ANTONIO, TX, REACH OUT TO ONE OF THE PROFESSIONALS ON THE PAX TEAM.

 

WHEN SHOULD I CREATE A PLAN?

Most individuals are mindful of the fact that they need an estate plan, although it's easy to put off because the need for it may not seem urgent. Many people believe you don't need to spend much time planning your estate until you've amassed substantial wealth or have a family, but that isn't the case. You should approach planning your estate with the same mindset you do with retirement planning, financial planning, and health care. 

Every adult can benefit tremendously from a well-planned out estate plan. Sure, the more assets you have, the more important it is to have a plan. However, having your financial affairs in order for when you pass away and being the one who decides what happens to them is a colossal motivator to get started as soon as possible. While having a family is a stellar incentive for starting your estate plan, under no circumstances should it be considered a prerequisite. 

 

HOW MANY DETAILS OF MY ESTATE PLAN SHOULD MY FAMILY AND LOVED ONES KNOW ABOUT?

The details you share (or don't) is one of many important decisions you must make when planning your estate. While it is ultimately a personal decision, sharing details has many benefits. For example, suppose you foresee that your heirs or beneficiaries will either be surprised or displeased with the details of your plan. In that case, it is probably better to be transparent and explain to them what they should expect ahead of time. This can avoid potential legal issues in the future, as you can handle any disputes with them directly instead of them challenging your will after you pass. 

 

WHAT SHOULD I INCLUDE IN MY STATE PLAN?

Planning your estate is no small endeavor, and your plan will be unique to you and your personal situation. Since everyone's situation will be different, and thus their plan, there are not any particular requirements for an estate plan. However, there are some very commonplace elements that are found in most estate plans: 

  • Trusts
  • Last Will & Testament
  • Retirement Planning
  • Funeral Arrangements
  • Advanced Directives (Living Trusts, Medical Power of Attorney, and Health Care Power of Attorney)
  • Medicaid & Medicare Planning

Not all items above will necessarily be included in your estate plan. Furthermore, depending on your situation, some may be given much more precedence and importance. If your health is a major concern, you should outline contingencies where you possibly become incapacitated. If a substantial portion of your assets is tied up in real estate, you may want to pay more attention to your last will and testaments and any trusts you create. Everyone's situation will be different. 

As San Antonio, TX, financial advisors, our team at PAX strives to provide exemplary and expert service for our clientele and all of their financial needs. For estate, financial, and retirement planning, reach out to us today to get started.

 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REVIEW AND UPDATE MY ESTATE PLAN?

Creating your estate plan is a crucial facet of your overall financial plan. However, failing to review and rework your plan throughout the course of your life can be detrimental and, in some cases, even worse than not having a plan at all. 

While an estate planning attorney might advise you to review your plan every three to five years, there is no defined schedule for reviewing and revising your estate plan. Everyone's situation will be different. While a semi-regular review every few years is likely healthy practice for your estate plan, how frequently you review and what (if anything) you change will depend on what happens throughout your life. Certain life events call for revision, such as divorce and marriage, death, moving states, children being born, and major fluctuations in your wealth and assets. 



WHAT IS DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY, AND SHOULD IT BE INCLUDED IN MY PLAN?

Power of attorney simply grants legal rights to another person in the event that you become incapacitated and can't make important decisions yourself. This is a powerful estate planning tool and should be approached with care. You are allowing someone else to make legal decisions on your behalf, including decisions regarding your bank accounts and financial affairs. 

When you appoint a power of attorney, you are appointing someone of your own choosing instead of leaving the decision up to the courts, which is what will happen if you decide not to appoint someone. An added benefit of electing someone of your choosing is that it will save you time and money. There are options where you can create a limited power of attorney who is only granted control in specific tasks and matters. 



YOUR ESTATE PLAN

These are all common questions we encounter from our clients regarding estate plans. As experienced certified financial planners in San Antonio, TX, we help all of our clients develop a personal strategy for their financial plan, estate plan, and any retirement planning needs. PAX advisors have a wealth of experience and bring the technical knowledge you need to help you make the best financial decisions for you and your estate. Schedule a no-obligation conversation with our team today!


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This material is provided by PAX Financial Group, LLC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note: Investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.



 

Darryl Lyons

Darryl Lyons

CEO and co-founder of the PAX Financial Group, Darryl Lyons has been a licensed professional in the financial services industry since 1999. A lifelong Texan, Darryl began his career in the financial sector just one day removed from earning his bachelor’s degree in corporate financial management and accounting at St. Mary’s University. Throughout his career, he has won awards for recruiting and development from Fortune 100 companies. In January 2007, he chose to begin and develop his independent practice. He joined Andres Gutierrez and Joseph Schuetze to form the PAX Financial Group. Darryl also served as the Chairman for Brooks Development Authority. Shortly after his service, Mayor Julian Castro, named a park “The Darryl W Lyons Park” in honor of his service. He was named to the 2010 San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Rising Stars,” which honors people making a difference in business and in the community.

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