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Wills and estates: Questions for dividing assets among heirs

One of the mot difficult aspects of estate planning is trying to figure out who will get what. It is likely one of the biggest reasons why Texas residents tend to put off completing the task. Indeed, a lot of consideration is needed on an emotional and financial level, and also in terms of family dynamics, when trying to figure out how one's estate should be distributed. Fortunately, wills, trusts and various asset distribution plans can be designed in a way to avoid the risk of problems further on down the line.

When planning how one's assets will be distributed, individuals s may wish to consider several important questions, and an estate planning attorney can help with this process. First and foremost, what assets are available to bequeath to heirs and, if appropriate, to charity? Are the assets will be divided equally among heirs, or will more will be given to certain relatives or friends over others?

When deciding on an unequal asset distribution plan, the criteria for determining how to divide the assets will be important. Will relatives who displayed a certain level of financial intelligence be given the lion's share, or will relatives who are in dire financial need be given the bulk of the estate?Alternatively, perhaps the assets will be divided based on one's relationship with relatives -- how close they were or how well they behaved from the testator's point of view..

There are many more questions that must be answered before a Texas resident can make an educated decision on asset distribution strategies while drafting their wills and making their estate plans. By looking over each person's individual wants and needs with fine toothed comb, a strategy that is uniquely tailored to that person can be created with relative ease. The goal of such a strategy will always be to ensure that an individual's wishes are carried out after death and to preserve the continuity of his or her family into the future.

Source: Forbes, "Estate Planning 101: Picking Your Heirs", Larry Light, Sept. 24, 2014

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