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Estate planning mistakes, including having no will, can be costly

People at all income levels can benefit from having detailed estate plans. The reality, however, is that many people -- even wealthy celebrities -- make critical estate planning mistakes. A couple of tips may help individuals in Texas to make wise choices when it comes to preparing for the future in the event of their deaths.

One of the biggest mistakes is not having wills in place. A recent survey indicated that nearly 66 percent of people in the United States do not have a will. Some famous individuals who perished without a will include Prince, more recently, and Pablo Picasso, in the more distant past. The lack of a will can result in potentially disastrous consequences.

One negative result of not having a will is that assets might not be distributed in the way one would have preferred. There may even be family disputes, including litigation, as a result of the absence of a will, with family members vying for what they believe to be their fair share of one's estate. In these situations, intestacy laws in the state will apply, dictating who will end up getting what share of the estate.

A well-thought-out estate plan in the state of Texas provides specific instructions for who should receive certain assets of a deceased individual. When these instructions are missing, both the cost and conflict associated with addressing the matter increase. Proper legal guidance may help people to engage in estate planning that accurately reflects their wishes as well as the best interests of their loved ones.

Source: USA Today, "Don't make these celebrities' estate-planning blunders", Kelli B. Grant, Nov. 5, 2016

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