TEXAS SMALL ESTATE WILL PACKAGE & CHILD PROTECTION PACKAGE
Don’t just protect your estate – protect your most precious legacy – your children.
A good estate plan includes a will, powers of attorney, and a directive to physicians. But a great estate plan also protects your children.
At Alexandra Geczi PLLC | Family Law, we believe that proper planning is important to success, even for estate planning. By preparing for the inevitable, you help alleviate some of the grief and stress that your loved ones will experience in the wake of your passing. We encourage all of our clients to get basic will packages so that they and their families are taken care of.
And if you already have a small estate package from us or another attorney, you have the option of purchasing the Child Protection Plan separately as a supplement to your existing estate plan.
Small Estate Package ($1,250/individual or $2,000/couple)
- Last Will and Testament
- Directive to Physicians (Living Will)
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Durable Power of Attorney
- HIPAA release form
- Funeral Instructions
- Organ Donation Instructions
- Appointment of Guardian of Your Estate
- Appointment of Guardian of Your Person
- 30 minutes initial consultation
- Revisions, as needed
- Signing ceremony with two witnesses and notary
- Bound package of documents, with copies for your agents
Child Protection Plan ($475/minor child)
- Appointment of Permanent Guardian for Your Child
- Appointment of Temporary Guardian for Your Child
- Instructions to Temporary and Permanent Guardians
- Medical Power of Attorney for Your Child
- HIPAA release form for your child
- Emergency First Responder Information Cards (tells First Responders who to contact)
You have three choices when it comes to estate planning:
- Do Nothing
- Will-based Planning
- Trust-based Planning
If you do nothing, then the State of Texas has a plan for you called intestacy. Through intestacy, the state will determine who gets your assets according to a hierarchy of relationships determined by the state. As such, your assets may end up in the hands of people you did not intend to leave it to.
If you have minor children, the state may have to intervene to determine what will happen to them. Even if permanent guardians have been appointed, there may be an interim period of time before the guardians can get to them. During that time, the State of Texas may keep your children in foster care.
With will-based planning, you get to designate a representative to administer your estate and distribute your assets according to your written wishes. A will can also provide for what happens to your pets. If you have minor children, many lawyers offering will packages do not offer family protection plans. We think family protection is an important part of your estate plan, so our packages can include documents that will help protect your children.
Trust-based planning is more complex and is beyond the scope of what our firm offers. However, we have professional relationships with several excellent estate planning lawyers and can make recommendations based on your needs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Last Will and Testament (the Will)?
Called a Last Will and Testament, this document ensures that your assets will pass to the people or entities that you choose, including charities. If you have minor children, you can designate a permanent guardian for them. If your will leaves your assets to your children, then it can create a trust so that the assets are managed by a person you designate until they are old enough to inherit it outright.
What is a Living Will?
Also known as a Directive to Physicians, this document allows you to choose the type of end-of-life medical treatment you would like to have. It serves to inform your doctors whether you want extraordinary medical measure taken, like being kept on a respirator, especially if doing so would cause you pain or only prolong the dying process. This document backs up the Medical Power of Attorney.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
With a Medical Power of Attorney, you can designate a person to make healthcare decisions for you in the event that you cannot make such decisions. For example, you may be unconscious but requiring medical procedures to be performed. It also authorizes your agent to obtain copies of your medical records. You can revoke the Medical Power of Attorney at any time.
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
The Durable (or Statutory) Power of Attorney allows you to designate a person to make financial decisions for you in the event you cannot make such decisions. We often use these for older parents to allow their adult children to manage their accounts, but it can also be used in the event you are incapacitated and unable to make financial decisions. For example, the durable power of attorney could be used to pay your bills while you were in the hospital recovering from an accident.
CHILD PROTECTION PACKAGE
What is a Designation of Temporary Guardian for Minor Children?
There may be a period of time before the permanent guardian can get to your children. A temporary guardian can be someone close by that you trust to care for your children during this time. This document allows you to appoint such person. Without a temporary guardian in place, the state may decide where your children go during the interim period, which could include the foster care system.
What is a Letter to Temporary Guardian?
This letter outlines the temporary guardian’s role and responsibilities in the process.
What is a Family Emergency ID Card?
This is a card you keep in your wallet. It tells first responders that you have minor children who may be in school or at home and names people to contact to care for your children.
What is a Children’s Healthcare & Personal Information form?
This document informs the guardians of your children of their relevant medical information, such as doctors, allergies, medications, etc., and personal information, such as a list of immediate family members, school, church, and financial information.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney for Child?
This document allows your temporary guardian to make medical decisions for your children until the permanent guardian is appointed.