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Estate planning process features a few essential steps

People in Texas realize the importance of preparing for the future, such as investing for retirement purposes, but they are often not as excited about engaging in estate planning. After all, estate planning requires both time and effort, and people naturally prefer not to discuss the topic of death. The process can be more manageable, however, if ones breaks up the process into individual tasks.

First, it is important to put together a will. A will is critical for ensuring that an individual's personal belongings and assets are distributed based on his or her wishes. This is true no matter how big or small one's estate is. When a person dies with no will, his or her belongings end up being distributed to the people who state law defines as the person's heirs, and this might not be in line with that person's wishes.

Second, it is worth considering a living trust. Living trusts allow assets to flow directly to heirs. This helps to avoid the time-consuming, expensive and public probate process. Checking beneficiary designations associated with retirement accounts and insurance policies is also an important part of estate planning.

Lastly, it is important to ensure that one's estate plan in Texas is shared with heirs and loved ones. Each person must understand his or her role in carrying out one's wishes. Through comprehensive estate planning, a person may have a greater peace of mind from knowing that his or her assets will end up in the right hands after his or her passing.

Source: theintelligencer.com, "Tips to ease the estate-planning process", Matthew Johnson, May 20, 2015

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