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Aging parents important consideration in estate planning

Estate planning basics have not changed in recent times. However, three major elements of estate planning that have emerged in recent years in Texas and other states are making the process a growing necessity. These elements -- aging parents, digital assets and pets -- can be addressed in a last will and testament or in a revocable trust.

As people are living longer, it is becoming more important to include in an estate plan a provision for the care of aging parents. This is because, if a child who is the primary caregiver suddenly dies or becomes incapacitated, his or her dependent parent could experience many obstacles in the areas of financial support and personal care if no provisions are made. This is a particularly important issue since 15 percent of people in America are currently caring for aging loved ones, with nearly 58 percent of them providing financial and personal support.

It is also wise, with proper legal guidance, to safeguard information required in an estate for others to access one's digital assets, retrieve digital heirlooms or close email accounts in the event of one's death. In addition, people may wish to make arrangements for the ongoing care of their pets while going through the estate planning process. This will help to lower the risk that a surviving pet will be abandoned or may have to be placed in a shelter.

People often prefer not to think about estate planning simply because it forces them to discuss their eventual deaths. However, failure to engage in estate planning means that a person's assets may not be transferred to the intended beneficiaries when the person dies. Appropriate legal guidance may help people to tackle the estate planning process in a way that protects their assets and other long-term interests in Texas.

Source: valdostatoday.com, "The Necessity Of Estate Planning Is Growing", Robert Lambert, March 3, 2016

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