Couples in Texas, regardless of their age, should consider proactive estate planning. It helps ensure their financial and health care affairs are in order no matter what happens.
For example, one person could become sick at a relatively young age or one person might need assisted living care.
1. Open conversations
Engage in open and honest conversations about your wishes and preferences. Discuss financial matters, health care decisions and end-of-life preferences with your partner.
Talk about your preferences regarding long-term care. As many as 70% of people who turn 65 can expect to need long-term care at some point. Establishing clear communication can help both parties understand each other’s desires and concerns.
2. Living will
A living will is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment in case you become unable to communicate your wishes. This document can address life-sustaining treatments, organ donation and other medical interventions. By drafting a living will, couples can ensure that their health care choices align with their values.
3. Power of attorney
This legal document empowers your representative to manage your affairs, pay bills and make financial decisions. Selecting a trustworthy individual is important.
4. Beneficiary designations
Review and update beneficiary designations on accounts such as life insurance policies, retirement plans and investment accounts. Ensure that these designations accurately reflect your current wishes, as they supersede instructions in your will. Regularly reviewing and updating beneficiary information can help avoid complications in the event of illness.
A will outlines the distribution of your assets. While it addresses post-mortem matters, it can also include provisions for the care of minor children, if applicable. Couples should collaborate on creating wills that align with their joint goals and preferences.
Regularly revisiting and updating these plans can ensure they remain relevant throughout the various stages of life.