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Your Guide to Getting Started with Estate Planning

estate planning

As the years go by, it’s important to feel secure in your future. This doesn’t just mean finding the right luxury senior living community in Texas or ensuring that you’re keeping up with your wellness goals; it also includes making sure that your wishes are set in stone and will be followed accordingly.

Estate planning is not the most comfortable topic to discuss, and it’s difficult to think that far into the future while you’re trying to enjoy living in the moment and making the most of your lifestyle. However, by planning ahead and communicating your wishes clearly, you’ll be able to gain the confidence that everything will be taken care of according to your inclinations. Plus, your loved ones won’t have to worry or stress.

At Franklin Park® Senior Living, our luxury communities throughout Texas embody the experience of a high-end resort, providing a lifestyle like no other. In addition to beautiful landscapes and elegant living spaces, our communities go above and beyond to provide helpful resources that ensure you’re ready and prepared through every step of your unique retirement journey. We’re sharing helpful estate planning tips to help you get started.

What is an Estate?

Everyone has an estate. An individual’s estate is made up of all the things they own. This includes your home, vehicle, bank accounts, businesses, real estate, investments, life insurance, possessions, and any debt you might owe. Essentially, any assets that exist in your name are a part of your estate.

This also includes any licenses or rights that a person might have. For instance, if you hold a patent or have ever written a piece of music, this is included in your estate. 

When it comes to debts, your estate will need to pay off anything that you owe before any beneficiaries or people who will inherit your estate, receive anything.

What is an Estate Plan?

Estate planning is the process of establishing legal documents that describe what should happen to your assets. This means that these documents will appoint representatives to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so at any point in time and delegate your possessions to your chosen beneficiaries after you pass.

Think of estate planning as a sort of gift to your loved ones. Without having a set estate plan, your relatives might face obstacles, conflicts, and other problems after you’re no longer with them. These documents give your family the information they need to make proper decisions on your behalf and ensure that your assets are passed down according to your wishes. 

Essential Estate Planning Factors


A will is a legal document that transfers an estate to beneficiaries after the person who created the will has passed. This also includes naming an executor of the will who ensures all your wishes are carried out. For example, many people choose their oldest child or another responsible loved one to serve as the executor if they don’t have children.

After establishing your will, it’s important to discuss each aspect with your family members and inform them of what is to be expected in the future to avoid any conflicts or surprises.


A trust is an agreement that allows you to transfer property to a delegated trustee until any beneficiaries can claim it. Basically, trusts can minimize extra taxes and restrict asset distribution.

However, there are several different types of trusts:

  • Revocable Living Trust: In this type of trust, you will be the designated trustee and have the ability to decide who will be the successor trustee after your passing. You can continue to make changes to this trust as time goes on. 
  • Irrevocable Living Trust: After establishing an irrevocable trust, you will no longer have the right to the trust’s assets and cannot serve as the designated trustee. Essentially, your beneficiaries have access to their inheritance now rather than after you’ve passed.
  • Special Needs Trust: This trust is meant for any heirs or beneficiaries living with special needs, guaranteeing them access to your inheritance without reversing any government benefits they receive. 
  • Spendthrift Trust: If you’re worried about any of your beneficiaries misusing their inheritance of your assets, this form of trust protects both your assets and your heirs after you’re gone. These trusts are overseen by a trustee, who makes payments over time to your beneficiaries.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney is a document that will be used if you are unable to communicate or make your own healthcare decisions at any point in time. You will essentially delegate a person to make decisions regarding your health in case you are unable to do so in the future. This person becomes your healthcare proxy. 

Be sure to have a solid discussion with your chosen healthcare proxy after naming them so you can explain your medical wishes and they can put them in place.

Estate planning is essential to your retirement lifestyle, providing peace of mind for you and your family members.

Discover luxury senior living in Texas by visiting our website, or contact a member of the Franklin Park® Senior Living team for more helpful tips and to learn more about our communities!