Estate planning can sometimes feel like doom and gloom; after all, most people do not particularly like discussing issues around death and mortality. Planning what will happen at the end of life and after death can also feel overwhelming for many. As such, it can be helpful for Texas adults to take the process step-by-step. Some small stepsthat can make the estate planning process feel more manageable (and sometimes, even fun) include:
- Starting a crisis notebook: One first step that can be comfortable for many is gathering documents together in a crisis notebook. This would include all relevant medical, financial, and legal documents. A crisis notebook can also include some instructions, which later should be codified through the creation of a will.
- Considering one’s advance directive: An advance directive designates who can make medical choices in one’s stead if they are unable to do so. This is a critical step to take, as a medical emergency requiring an advanced directive could happen at any time.
- Making end-of-life plans: Many people have a vision for the kind of end-of-life celebration they would want. Some want a traditional funeral, others want a lively wake; some people want to be buried, while others may want to be cremated or even donate their bodies to science. Making these plans can be an interesting exercise and can open the door to other estate planning efforts.
While the above-listed steps are important, they primarily act as a gateway to the rest of the estate planning process. For example, writing a will is another critical component of the estate planning process. However, taking smaller and more enjoyable steps to start can make larger tasks like drafting a will seem far more manageable. Another great step one can take is to speak with a Texas estate planning attorney, who can help clarify what exactly needs to be done to put together a plan.