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Proper estate planning can ensure that wishes are followed

For some, creating an estate plan is about leaving money to their children. For others, the estate plan is focused more on funding a charity or organization that supports an important cause. Regardless of the intent of your estate planning, it is important that documents are drafted and executed that accomplish your wishes as best as is possible.

With the recent economic downturn, many have found themselves facing an increased sense of urgency to create an estate plan as a way of passing down assets to heirs who perhaps suffered financial difficulties in recent years. These people may include your recent college grad who cannot find a job, or other adult children forced to return to the family home due to a job loss. However, even if you don't have substantial assets to pass down, it is still important to have an estate plan in place.

There are many options that a person can choose to ensure that their final wishes are followed. These include the creation of a trust or a will, depending on the specific facts and circumstances. Both of these estate planning tools can be customized to meet the needs of an individual. It should also be noted that among the estate planning documents that Texas residents should consider are health care proxies, living wills and powers of attorney. These documents are essential as people age or become ill and are no longer able to care for themselves because they detail how people want their healthcare to be handled in certain situations.

In the end, estate planning is essential, not just so you ensure your heirs are protected, but also to make sure you are protected in the event that you can no longer make decisions on your own. Speaking to an experienced legal professional may be helpful as you get started.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Keep estate planning in your retirement mix," Janet Kidd Stewart, June 8, 2012

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