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Estate planning important for addressing illness, death

In the new year, people's most common resolutions in Texas and elsewhere are to stay healthy, devote more time to family and lose weight. However, these resolutions focus on what people will do when they are alive and doing well. The reality is that people often neglect to concentrate on what they will do when they do not feel good, and what will happen if they unexpectedly pass away. Estate planning is essential for addressing these unknowns.

One potentially beneficial component of an estate plan is a trust. Trust funding is the process of correctly and completely designating individuals and a trust as the insured parties, owners and beneficiaries of one's assets. It is essentially putting one's assets in a trust, which is considered a financial vehicle.

Keeping a trust properly funded and updated is essential for making sure that one's estate plan achieves one's intended results. Not properly updating an estate plan may lead to unwanted results, such as probate while one is alive or after one has passed away. In addition, distributions may take place that are not in line with one's objectives and goals. There may also be extra taxes as well as additional legal and administrative expenses.

Once an estate plan is created, it is recommended that one update it every year. After all, changes in family situations, personal financial changes and changes in the law related to taxes can all affect one's estate planning decisions. With legal guidance in the state of Texas, people can ensure that they have estate plans that accurately reflect their wishes long term.

Source: thetimesherald.com, "New Year's Resolution: Plan to Plan", Matthew Wallace, Jan. 2, 2017

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