Leading Estate Planning Lawyer Fred Haiman, founding partner of Haiman Hogue in Frisco, TX Frisco outlines the reasons to estate plan now, to avoid potential financial and emotional pain in the long run. For more information please visit https://www.haimanhogue.com
— Frisco estate planning attorney Fred Haiman has spoken of the need to take estate planning seriously now, and avoid potential financial and emotional pain in the long run.
For more information please visit https://www.haimanhogue.com
The founding partner of the Frisco-based Haiman Hogue, PLLC, said people that became incapacitated and had no estate planning were deprived of making important decisions that affected them in later life.
"Estate planning is not exclusive to addressing issues after someone has passed, it’s not just about death" he asserted. "It is as essential and relevant if someone becomes incapacitated before they die.”
In the event of incapacity, someone else takes responsibility for a person's finances and financial and medical decision-making. "But those decisions, if not already laid out in their estate plan, may not align with a person's wishes," Haiman said.
"Doing estate planning before you need it takes away the future worry and concern, if you were to ever become incapacitated."
Appointing an agent under your power of attorney now, will enable them to act as your legal, financial, and healthcare decision-maker and follow your wishes to the letter in case of future incapacitation.
"It is critical to use someone you can trust implicitly or nominate a licensed bonded professional,” he said. “When setting up powers of attorney, it is important to tell your agent, preferably in writing, explicit details about your financial and medical wishes."
But he advised against assigning joint ownership of your assets and finances. "Joint ownership adds another owner to your accounts or assets. If that joint owner runs into trouble, your account or property can be used to pay their debts even if they never contributed to the asset."
Establishing a living trust is another practical step. This involves retitling certain assets under the ownership of a trust that will be overseen by a successor trustee who will make decisions on those trust assets if you become incapacitated.
He said: "That trustee will wield much power in managing trust assets, so you need to think carefully about appointing a person that you trust completely, and one who will carry out all your wishes."
Mr Haiman advised anyone considering estate planning to seek advice from an experienced estate planning attorney. "You need to be comfortable with the implications, but they will offer the best course of action and ensure a plan is comprehensive enough so that it reflects all your wishes," he concluded
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