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Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Every person over 18 needs some form of estate and personal planning. If making a will or considering an estate plan is something you are waiting to do until later, you should know that there is no time like the present for helping loved ones and yourself in the event you become incapacitated or pass away.

An estate plan is a tool to assist you with managing assets while you are alive and instructing where your wealth is to be directed when you have passed on. Regardless of the amount of your wealth, understanding the best way to protect yourself is essential.

Many people know what a will is and have heard of a trust. Basic components of an estate plan include the following:

  • Will: A will names a representative to settle your estate when you pass away, gives directions for disposition of your property, names a guardian for minor children and provides other instructions. A will can also create a trust to become effective upon your death.
  • Trusts: A trust is a legal arrangement whereby your assets are placed into an account for management by a trustee. A trust can be revocable or irrevocable and has significant advantages, including protected, speedy delivery of assets and funds to beneficiaries after you pass away. If you have minor children, a trustee can safeguard their inheritance or property until they are of age.
  • Advance medical directives: A medical power of attorney is a good idea at any age. If you are incapacitated by injury or illness, a medical power of attorney designates another person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. A durable power of attorney designates a person to make financial and other decisions on your behalf. Sometimes these agents are the same person, but any agent should be willing and able to carry out your wishes if you are incapacitated or at end-of-life.

Regardless of the size of your estate, you need a plan. If you have questions about probate or wills, speak with a skilled estate planning attorney.

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Robert Reid McInvale
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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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