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A family standing together, their figures outlined by the sun's rays, creating a beautiful silhouette.As a parent, you want the best for your children in every aspect of life – their education, their health, and their happiness. But what happens if you are no longer around to ensure they are being properly cared for? Using estate planning tools is one of the best ways to protect them and their future in the unfortunate event that you are no longer around to look after them. In this article, you can learn:

What Happens To Our Children After Our Death If We Do Not Have Proper Estate Planning Documents In Place?

If you do not have proper estate planning documents in place that specify who will care for your children in Texas after your death, the decision regarding their guardianship will be left to the Texas courts. A judge will determine who the most suitable guardian for your children is, based on what the court believes to be in the best interests of the child.

This could result in the court appointing someone you might not have chosen. Additionally, without clear directives in place, family disagreements and conflicts could arise over the guardianship, leading to potentially protracted and emotionally taxing legal battles.

What Planning Documents Do Parents Need To Protect And Provide For Their Minor Children In Texas?

As a parent who wants to ensure the protection and provision of your minor children in Texas, you should consider having the following estate planning documents:

  1. Last Will and Testament: This is the primary document where you can name a guardian for your minor children in the event of both parents’ untimely death. It also allows you to specify how your assets should be distributed, which can include setting up trusts for your children’s benefit.
  2. Testamentary Trust: This can be established within a Last Will and Testament to provide financial support for your child’s needs. As a parent, you can set terms on how the trust assets are managed and when distributions are made, such as for education expenses or when your child reaches a certain age.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney: This document allows you to designate someone to manage your financial affairs in case you become incapacitated. This ensures that there is someone to handle the financial needs of your children.
  4. Medical Power of Attorney: You can designate an agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so, ensuring that medical decisions affecting your children are in line with your wishes.
  5. Declaration of Guardian: In this document, you can specify who you wish (and do not wish) to serve as the guardian of your children upon your death, or should you become incapacitated.
  6. Advance Health Care Directive (or Living Will): This document outlines your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care, ensuring you receive the care you want. This reduces stress on family members during difficult times, which can impact both your adult and minor children.
  7. HIPAA Authorization: This allows designated individuals to access your medical information, facilitating better decision-making if you become incapacitated.
  8. Letter of Intent: While not legally binding, a letter of intent provides guidance to the chosen guardian. This can provide instructions about the care, upbringing, and education of your children, and any other wishes you may have for your children.

To ensure that all documents are legally valid and accurately represent your wishes as a parent, you should work with an estate planning attorney familiar with Texas laws.

For more information on Estate Planning For Parents In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (956) 513-1117 today.

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