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Basic estate planning involves creating a will

Some people in Texas avoid creating estate plans because they do not want to think about the possibility of dying. However, other people are simply overwhelmed by the process and consider it too complicated. A couple of tips may help people to embark on estate planning efficiently so that they can start off 2017 strong in this aspect of financial planning.

First, it is wise to create a list of one's assets. This involves examining all of the assets one has then also reviewing how they are titled. This is the foundation of one's assets. Next, it is important to think about what one would want to happen to all of these assets in the event of one's death.

An estate plan that is basic features a will that mentions where a person wants his or her assets to go after he or she dies. This document is filed with the court after he or she passes, and the executor is responsible for distributing the person's assets based on the will's terms. When a will is used to distribute assets, all assets that are individually held during a person's life have to go through the process of probate.

Even though people in Texas prefer not to discuss death, failure to create an estate plan means that one's assets may not end up in the intended hands. In addition, the lack of an estate plan may lead to infighting among grieving surviving family members. Legal guidance may help people to complete detailed estate planning that reflects their wishes.

Source:, "Estate planning basics and avoiding probate with a living trust", Kathy Byrne, Dec. 22, 2016

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