Make sure your estate is prepared for the new year

It’s a brand new year, and you may be thinking about making some changes – maybe losing a few pounds, exercising a little more, or saving some money. Those are all good things, but it may also be a good time to get your affairs in order for your family in case something happens to you. Yes, it might be a morbid subject to think or talk about, but it’s unfortunately a fact of life that we are not immortal. A lot of people put this off until tomorrow, but unfortunately, no one knows what tomorrow might bring. Protecting your family could be the best thing you do this year.

Will execution can be a bit like doing your taxes – complicated and perplexing. It helps to have an El Paso estate-planning attorney to make sure you remember all of the things that need to be included and taken care of. There are a lot of little things that most people never think of.

Your pet, for example, is one. If you have pets, you want to ensure that you list a guardian for them. You may even want to plan for their medical needs in advance.

Another thing to know is that you need to ensure that beneficiaries are updated and correct on your life insurance policies and pension funds. Even if you have a will, the beneficiary listed on these items will override the will. So, it is very important to ensure these are kept up-to-date if you divorce and remarry.

Who will get your car or your house if something happens to you? You may want to do a “Transfer on Death.” This means that when you complete a T.O.D. document, the property is immediately transferred over to the beneficiary you have named. This too, will overwrite a person named in your will.

There are multiple things to consider, which is why it is helpful to have the assistance of an attorney who is thorough. He or she can help you think of things that need to be included or updated in your will. Finally, you need to ensure that your documents are where they can be found, or designate your attorney or another trusted individual to handle matters if something happens to you. When you are finished, you will have peace of mind!

Source:, “Are you ready for death? Resolve to get your affairs in order” Tim Engle, Jan. 19, 2014