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Estate planning helps to protect one's assets and wishes

People in Texas may naturally assume that estate plans are only relevant for those who are older. However, an estate plan is critical at any age. Estate planning is also important no matter one's income level for protecting one's assets and wishes in a variety of areas.

It is wise to create an estate plan when one turns 18. Estate plans provide appropriate documentation to make sure that people control how their possessions are distributed when they die. This is particularly essential if people want certain assets to go to specific parties. For instance, they may want to leave their assets to their spouses, their grandparents' jewelry to their siblings or their DVD collections to local charities.

Another important part of an estate plan is a durable power of attorney. This document appoints a representative to take action on a person's behalf in the event that the person becomes incapacitated. The representative is responsible for paying bills and making financial decisions for the incapacitated individual; a parent, spouse or sibling can fulfill this role.

It is also important to choose someone to make medical decisions on one's behalf. This is the purpose of the medical power of attorney. The advanced health care directive, also known as a living will, is also important for relaying information about the medical care a person would like to receive, such as life support. Proper legal guidance in Texas may help people to engage in well-thought-out estate planning that will benefit both them and their families down the road.

Source: heraldonline.com, "Personal finance: Plan your estate while you're young", Lea Ann Knight, Nov. 3, 2015

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