Wills and Trusts Lawyer
Providing Effective Wills, and Trusts
There are six documents – we call them “the big six” – that should be part of every estate plan, whether you are old or young, married or single, have a lot of property, or a little. At the Law Offices of Q. Lynn Johnson, PLLC, our Dallas Wills and Trusts lawyer provides prompt and confidential legal help to ensure you have the documents that are tailored to meet your estate planning needs.
Call our law office at 214-552-1349 for a free phone consultation. The “big six” can be created to prepare for the expected and unexpected events in your life.
Big Six Estate Planning Documents
- A Legal Will lets you clearly state how you wish your assests to be distributed upon your death. Why is this important? If you don’t have a Will in place, the State of Texas will make your estate planning decisions for you. Unfortuately, the State’s decisions will probably not be what you wanted. Clarifying your wishes now will help your family through a difficult time.
- A Durable Power of Attorney gives someone authority to make decisions for you and conduct business on your behalf.
Why is this important? If you become ill and cannot handle your personal affairs, a Durable Power of Attorney ensures that someone you choose can pay your bills and manage your day-to-day affairs.
- A Medical Power of Attorney gives someone the authority to make decisions about your medical care if you are incapacitated or unable to communitcate.
Why is this important? In the event you are unable to make your own medical decisions, you want to choose the person who will be making those decisions. A HIPPA authorization form will also need to be completed to ensure your representative has access to your medical information.
- A Medical Directive (or Living Will) explains to your doctors and your loved ones the kind of medical care you would like to receive.
Why is this important? If you are incapacitated, your specific wishes about your medical treatment can still be communticated to physicians, and family (or surrogates). It can take a burden off your loved one when he or she has to make a difficult decision, possibly one he or she would not have made without your instruction.
- A Disposition of Remains provides instructions for the disposition of your body including your preferences for cremation or burial.
Why is this important? If you do not leave instructions, your next of kin will decide.
- Appointment of Guardian names a person who will become a guardian to you or a minor child in the event you become incapacitated.
Why is this important? If you do not choose a guardian, the court may appoint someone you do not trust or the court may need to appoint a paid guardian, depleting your estate.
A document that allows you to control the distribution of your assets during your life or after your death. A Trust is the perfect tool to achieve specific estate planning goals. A Trust can be used to:
- Transfer assets to an heir after he or she has reached a certain age (any age can be specified)
- Ensure assets are used for specific purposes, such as paying for college
- Ensure that assets are managed properly, which may be important if the beneficiary is not good with money
- Provide ongoing managed income for a disabled adult or for a child
- Defer taxes during one’s lifetime
- Avoid a time-consuming and potentially costly probate process
Revising an Existing Will or Trust
Have you had a child? Gotten married or divorced? Do you have a much bigger estate than you had when you initially drafted a Will? If your life circumstances have changed, it may be time to review your existing Will or Trust. Our estate planning lawyer can help you with an estate planning tune-up.