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Estate planning involves starting a discussion, gathering info

Estate planning is something that people in Texas, including business people, often put off until they absolutely have to do it. Unfortunately, sometimes they wait until it is too late to do estate planning. For business people, this means a business might not make it to the family's next generation.

When it comes to estate planning, it is wise to start a discussion with family members about which business assets and other assets will be passed down to the next generation. Bringing up difficult topics related to death, balance sheets, expenses, income, economics and transferring assets is easy to avoid as people focus on their daily responsibilities. However, addressing these topics now may help to prevent future disagreements and problems among the surviving heirs.

Next, it is wise to list one's objectives. This allows a family to have solid goals for the future. Having these goals written down makes it easier for an attorney to ensure that the proper tools are used during the estate planning process for the family.

Compiling the necessary information is an important final step before consulting an estate planning attorney about one's assets and objectives. The information that needs to be compiled includes a list of assets, stocks, bank accounts and retirement accounts, along with a list of liabilities, such as mortgages or liens. In addition to choosing an attorney in Texas, it may be wise to consult other advisers, such as a financial planner, an insurance agent who offers long-term care or life insurance, a funeral home director and a tax preparer or consultant. With proper guidance, people may quickly and efficiently create estate plans that will protect their futures and those of their loved ones.

Source: beefmagazine.com, "4 tips for tackling the estate planning process", Amanda Radke, June 14, 2016

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