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February 2013 Archives

Texas estate planning can help to avoid disputes

Estate planning can be used to achieve some of the goals that many people in Texas have for the assets after their deaths. However, even when a trust has been put into place by an individual engaged in estate planning, a case can end in litigation when those left to distribute the trust after that person's death disagree. This is what happened in one recent case that may be of interest to our readers.

Estate planning in Texas means early planning and preparation

Estate planning in Texas often means a review of all assets and liabilities of an estate. As the estate planning process continues, individuals work to create documents that reflect their wishes as to the distribution of their estate at the time of their death. In addition, many people create documents, such as a power of attorney, that appoint individuals to care for them when they cannot.

Texas estate planning includes a review of all available tools

The composition of families across Texas and the nation is changing. Until recently, a traditional model in which there were two parents and several children was the standard model for a family. Now, there are many different types such as blended families, single households and other structures. This has made those who are seeking to begin estate planning need to deal with a wider variety of issues than in the past.

Texas estate planning includes the need for power of attorney

The appointment of an individual to be the holder of a power of attorney for healthcare is an important part of the planning process for many in Texas. One estate planning authority notes that if a healthcare power of attorney does not exist, the decisions as to the amount of life sustaining medical care offered to a person may be made by law rather than following an individual's specific wishes. This has led many in our state to add a power of attorney document to their estate planning.

Texas estate planning includes use of wills and bequests

Many people in Texas and across the nation have spent a lifetime collecting and acquiring personal property. When they die, if there are no estate planning documents in place to determine how the property will be distributed, it is left to heirs of an estate to dispose of the goods. When this is the case, heirs often turn to donations or tag sales to clear out personal items.