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January 2015 Archives

Passing down the Texas farm through estate planning

Many farmers and ranchers pride themselves on the meticulous care of their homes and property. Texas landowners are no different. A common consideration for someone who has put decades of sweat and toil into running a ranch is ensuring that the tradition will continue upon his or her death. Careful estate planning can often be a means to that end.

Estate planning needs to include social media

In this day and age, most Texas residents enjoy using the Internet and probably have a number of online accounts. These accounts, such as Facebook, online bank accounts and others, usually require special user names and passwords for access. Some of these accounts may contain information that family members will want to access after the account holder has passed away. For this reason, it is important to include a list of online accounts, along with their associated user names and passwords as a part of the estate planning process.

Identifying beneficiaries in Texas estate planning

One of the biggest mistakes that Texas estate planners make is to forget about identifying beneficiaries on their retirement plan documentation. Identifying beneficiaries is also important on individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and other financial documentation. The reason that this is vital is because the information beneficiary information identified on these accounts will supersede anything that is mentioned in a will or trust document. If no beneficiaries are identified on the accounts and/or if the wrong beneficiary is identified on an un-updated account, it can create a very complicated problem for one's heirs.

Federal estate tax planning exemptions to increase in 2015

Now that we have made our way into 2015, estate planners around the United States can celebrate the ever-growing size of their federal estate tax exemptions. As of 2015, the estates of those who die with estates under $5.43 million in value will not be subject to federal estate tax. There is even more to celebrate: many states are coming on board with higher estate tax exemptions as well. Both eventualities impact estate tax planning in Texas.