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Estate planning mistakes may have negative effects

People in Texas naturally prefer not to discuss topics involving death, which can include estate planning. However, not engaging in estate planning can have a detrimental effect on an individual's family, potentially leading to family feuds after the person's death. Going about estate planning the wrong way can also have a negative impact.

About 56 percent of parents in America have a living trust or will, and of this number, just 40 percent have one that has been updated in the past five years. In many cases, adult children do not know where their parents' estate planning documents are located and what information is included in them. This is one of the biggest barriers for a smooth distribution of assets after a parent's death.

Another common estate planning mistake is the failure to account for rivalry among siblings. It helps if a person plans for distributions among the kids to be equal; however, if this is not desired, it is wise for the person to discuss with the children what his or her wishes are before he or she passes away. It is also important to make sure that an estate plan is updated, particularly if an individual has remarried or has chosen to disinherit a child and none of this is reflected in the current estate plan.

Estate planning is often considered a morbid task. However, when people do not create estate plans, their family members may not end up getting the assets the benefactor would like them to have. Creating a will or trust ultimately enables people in Texas to control what happens to their assets posthumously.

Source: mainstreet.com, "Here Are the Worst Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Make", Jason Notte, July 13, 2015

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