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Several important tips for Texas estate planning

There is no better time than now to begin the process of drafting one's will. However, for many Texas residents, estate planning is a foreign process filled with lots of difficult decisions and challenging thoughts about one's own death. Considering these challenges, it is understandable why approximately 55 to 65 percent of Americans do not have a will.

In order to avoid becoming such a statistic, and in order to make life dramatically easier on one's heirs and beneficiaries, Texas residents can follow a few simple steps in order to get their estate planning started off on the right foot. Firstly, consumers can start the process by making a list of their assets, including real estate and bank accounts. Investment accounts, insurance policies and other items owned should also be included. They can then determine how they wish for these items to be divided among their family and friends.

Next, it may be appropriate to decide on an individual to serve as guardian for their young children. If parents do not indicate who they want to care for their children in a will, then it will usually be up to the courts to decide. This part of creating a will may indeed be one of the most important reasons for having one on file.

There are other questions which must be answered while creating one's will. For example, one must decide who shall serve as executor of the estate. Decisions can also be made about who might serve as power of attorney in the event that the owner of the will is incapacitated and unable to make legal and/or medical decisions. Ultimately, each Texas resident will have different needs in terms of tax protection and other common concerns. With professional assistance, however, the estate planning process can be made much simpler and easier for all parties involved, especially for the heirs and family members one leaves behind.

Source: money.cnn.com, 10 steps to painless estate planning, Martha White, March 3, 2014

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