The reality is that every adult in Texas should pay heed to the importance of estate planning. This particularly becomes the case when a younger adult begins to start a family or accumulate even a modest amount in the way of assets. The fact is that even disabled individuals have a need for comprehensive estate planning. There are important options available to a disabled individual in regard to thorough estate planning.
Changes in law to permit disabled persons to estate plan
Before the 1990s, an adjudicated disabled individual lacked the ability to undertake much of anything in the way of estate planning. This was in part due to a lack of legally sufficient capacity in some cases or limitations on what a guardian, conservator or similarly situated fiduciary was able to do on behalf of a disabled person.
Laws began to change in Texas and elsewhere in the 1990s, largely as a response to the disability rights movement. Laws today generally permit a broad spectrum of disabled individuals to undertake estate planning, including individuals with a guardian, conservator or another fiduciary.
Examples of legally permitted estate planning options
Examples of legally permitted estate planning options that can be utilized by a disabled individual include making gifts of property, income or other assets via different estate planning vehicles, including trusts. If a disabled person is subject to a guardianship or conservatorship, judicial oversight ensures that any undertaking associated with estate planning does not harm or impair the interests of that individual.
While estate planning options exist for a disabled individual, the process of creating a suitable and legally appropriate plan can prove challenging and complicated. As a consequence, engaging the services of an attorney with experience in estate planning for disabled clients is a recommended course of action.