As an estate planning attorney, I understand the importance of staying updated with the latest legal changes that may impact your estate plan. Over the past few years, Texas has seen significant updates and revisions to its estate planning laws and there are key legal updates and changes that may affect your estate plan. I encourage you to reach out to me soon to discuss these changes and ensure your estate plan remains current and effective.
Texas Uniform Power of Attorney Act (2017):
In 2017, Texas adopted the Texas Uniform Power of Attorney Act (TUPOAA), which made significant changes to the requirements and provisions of powers of attorney (POAs). The TUPOAA introduced standardized forms and strengthened protections for individuals executing and relying on POAs. It is essential to review your existing POA documents to ensure compliance with the new requirements.
Digital Assets and Estate Planning:
Recognizing the increasing importance of digital assets in our lives, Texas enacted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA) in 2017. This law allows individuals to grant fiduciaries access to their digital assets, such as online accounts, social media profiles, and digital files. Including provisions in your estate plan to address digital assets can help ensure their proper management and distribution.
Estate Tax Exemption Changes:
In recent years, there have been updates to federal estate tax laws, which can indirectly impact estate planning in Texas. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 significantly increased the federal estate tax exemption, providing substantial tax savings for many individuals. However, it’s crucial to review your estate plan to ensure it aligns with current federal and state tax laws and maximizes the available exemptions and deductions.
Changes in Medicaid Rules:
Medicaid eligibility rules are subject to periodic updates, and Texas has made some changes in recent years. It is important to understand the evolving Medicaid rules and how they may impact your long-term care planning. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can help you navigate these changes and implement strategies to protect your assets while maintaining Medicaid eligibility.
Updates to Guardianship Laws:
In 2019, Texas introduced significant reforms to its guardianship laws to enhance protections for individuals who may need a court-appointed guardian. These changes include increased scrutiny and reporting requirements for guardians, improved rights for individuals subject to guardianship, and streamlined processes for determining incapacity. Ensuring your estate plan includes provisions for guardianship can help protect your interests and ensure your preferences are honored.
Take Action Now:
Given the recent legal updates and changes in estate planning, it is crucial to review your existing estate plan or consider creating a new plan if you haven’t done so already. Taking proactive measures ensures that your estate plan reflects your current wishes, maximizes benefits under the law, and provides for the smooth transfer of assets to your loved ones.
As an experienced estate planning attorney, I am here to help you navigate these changes and tailor an estate plan that meets your specific needs. Contact me soon to schedule a consultation and discuss how these legal updates may impact your estate plan. Together, we can ensure that your estate plan remains up-to-date, legally sound, and aligned with your goals and objectives.