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Basic concerns regarding the estate planning process

Common sense dictates that estate planning is best done sooner rather than later. No matter one's age, financial situation or health status, getting one's ducks in a row in this regard can bring an enormous amount of peace of mind. That said, each Texas resident will require specific estate planning strategies catered to his or her situation and needs.

For example, when Texas residents are in nontraditional romantic relationships and/or have had more than one marriage, estate planning needs become more specific. These individuals require specific estate planning strategies in order to determine how they will divide and distribute their assets at the time of their death. Couples who have lived together for an extended period of time without getting married, for instance, will need to specifically declare their intentions in a will. They may wish to divide their assets up among their romantic partner and their children in a specific way, which may be different from how the state would decide without the presence of a clearly written will and testimony.

Married couples who have children from a previous marriage may also have unique requirements for how their estates shall be divided. A well-drafted will that defines one's intents is important for protecting one's children from having their inheritance taken away by members of one's new family. Once such a will has been drafted, it is also important to inform all family members in advance, which can help dramatically to minimize the chance of infighting. The more specific a Texas resident is about the division of assets -- even with regard to automobiles, cash and jewelry -- the easier it will be on his or her family members.

Estate planning is not very difficult with professional assistance. Unique plans can be created for the needs of every individual no matter how complicated their family situation and no matter how large or small their estate. Finally, the process of portioning out one's estate is easier and -- considering the potential tax-saving benefits -- cheaper when it is completed in advance of one's passing.

Source: millionairecorner.com, Estate Planning Basics, Kent Mcdill, March 20, 2014

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