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Identifying beneficiaries is an important part of estate planning

Having an estate plan in place is paramount for a person in Texas to protect his or her assets in the event of his or her death. It can also help to prevent bickering among surviving family members. Identifying beneficiaries is one of the most important steps in creating an estate plan.

One part of a well-thought-out estate plan is the will -- a document that more than 50 percent of people in America die without creating. If a person has no will, a state court will decide which parties will get the person's assets. Typically, the court will pass these assets to the person's closest relatives, but these individuals might not have been the person's first choice. This is why developing a will is so important: It ensures that assets will go to the particular beneficiaries one names.

Another aspect of estate planning that is frequently overlooked is need to update beneficiaries on various financial assets. These include 401(k) plans, life insurance policies and individual retirement accounts. It is also important for a regular bank account to have beneficiaries as well. The beneficiary names can be listed on a POD form, or payable-on-death form, supplied by one's bank.

Engaging in estate planning in Texas is important no matter how old or young a person is, as death can strike at any moment. In addition, creating an estate plan and identifying beneficiaries is essential whether a person is wealthy or has few assets. Appropriate legal guidance can help people to complete comprehensive estate planning in ways that meet their needs.

Source: cnbc.com, "No will or estate plan? Big problem for you and your heirs", Sarah O'Brien, Aug. 9, 2016

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