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How can you avoid trust issues before they arise?

When Texas residents undertake the task of estate planning, the creation of trusts may become a vital part of the process. However, a successful trust may be more difficult to create than one may think. Avoiding the pitfalls of estate planning can come with some simple suggestions that can make the necessary steps easier and ensure that trusts properly prepare a person's heirs to handle their estate.

Difficulties within the family are a common pitfall when creating a trust. Feuds between family members can unnecessarily complicate sensitive matters, so it is important to ensure that whoever manages the trust possess attributes of loyalty, impartiality and prudence. Being a trustee requires wearing many hats and can sometimes lead to making difficult decisions. Ensuring that the right trustee is selected can ensure that your last wishes become a reality.

Attempt to avoid arguments during the estate and trust administration process. Although with any family this is sometimes not always possible, but trust litigation cases are on the rise, so titling of assets, documenting intentions and the use of independent trustees may be utilized in order to prevent some of these problems. Unrest within the family can be common but having a strong estate plan and trustworthy administrators is important.

The most important assets in an estate are the family. Yet history is full of stories where riches have disappeared after poor communication between the family, failure to educate the next generation of heirs and mismanagement of the estate. Discussing estate matters now is better than letting it slide into disrepute later.

It's also important to plan for the possibility of beneficiaries squandering their assets. Although it's unfortunate, it can and does happen. Establish a spendthrift provision for the spouse and keep assets for children in trusts. Although conflicts may arise, estate planning is ensuring that your heirs are taken care of when you're gone. Texas citizens who are in the estate planning process should continue to plan for the future in order to continue benefit their loved ones after their passing.

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal, "How to avoid some of the common trust pitfalls," Brian Loy, April 1, 2012