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Important estate planning steps for Texas residents

Unfortunately, death is one of the few certainties in life. For that reason, wise Texas residents will get their estate plans in order as early as possible. By getting one's estate planning completed now as opposed to later, if an unexpected death occurs, family members will have a much easier time resolving one’s finances and inheriting one’s estate.

A properly planned estate can also serve to prevent family infighting. Further, it can prevent a large portion of an estate from being paid out in estate taxes to the government. While no age is too young to put an estate plan in place, an estate plan for young individuals with children is a necessity. Indeed, through estate planning, one can name a guardian to care for one’s children in the event of an untimely death. Without such a plan in place, the government will ultimately decide who will raise one’s kids in the event of a death.

An important step in every estate plan involves getting help from a financial advisor and/or an attorney. A financial planner or attorney can assist estate planners with removing their emotions from the equation and creating their estate plans as practically as possible. A will can be written without the assistance of an estate planning professional, but an estate planner who is familiar with the nuances of state and federal laws and how to avoid common pitfalls can be invaluably helpful in the process.

While every Texas estate planning process is different and comes with different needs and goals, generally speaking, three documents should always be a part of a well-planned estate. Those include: a will, living will, a medical power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. Some individuals may also wish to plan specific funeral arrangements so that loved ones do not have to make such a difficult decision themselves.

Source: tctimes.com, "Steps involved with estate planning", , Aug. 7, 2014

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