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Estate planning is not just for old, wealthy Texans

For many individuals who are either young or perhaps believe they do not have enough assets, drafting a will is not on the top of their priority list. However, despite the desire to delay such estate planning, it may be in many Texas residents' best interests to prepare one, as this document can protect more than just the division of monetary assets. In fact, a little careful planning could avoid a lot of issues down the road.

It has been reported that approximately 60 percent of adults in the United States do not currently have a will. This statistic is in large part due to the belief held by many people that this planning does not currently pertain to them. However, estate planning can cover a wide range of issues, such as the identity of a guardian or the future distribution of assets that may transform into a significant issue later on.

When there is no will, an individual's assets may require distribution according to Texas statutes. Further, the custody of minor children may be left up to a court's determination if the other parent is also deceased. Although a judge will surely attempt to act in the best interests of the child in those instances, these orders do not always mirror what an individual's wishes would be. Accordingly, it may be best to execute a formal will so as to avoid any ambiguity or confusion as to who is entitled to what.

There is a lot of planning that many individuals may wish to put off until later. However, with the many Texas laws that can have an effect, many individuals may benefit early on in their adult life from proper estate planning. In doing so, the individual who has made the effort may take a sigh of relief knowing that they took the steps necessary to ensure their loved ones interests will be protected in the event of their untimely death.

Source: CBSNews.com, "Why you need a will," Ray Martin, Aug. 21, 2012

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