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Estate planning involves several important considerations

As people in the state of Texas embark on a new year, now is an ideal time to reflect on the major changes they have experienced in their lives during the previous year. These changes may have included a new child, a marriage and/or the death of a loved one. It is important to take into consideration these major changes when engaging in estate planning.

Estate planning is important for ensuring that one's assets end up in the intended hands after one passes away. An important consideration is which people are assigned s beneficiaries on one's accounts. It also makes good sense to confirm each year who the named beneficiaries are on deferred compensation plans or company pensions.

IRA beneficiaries should be accurately listed. Passing down an IRA can be complex, with incorrect beneficiary listings having the potential to result in unnecessary tax consequences. Many people mistakenly believe that wills cover IRAs; in reality, IRAs are passed directly to the named beneficiaries as they appear on the beneficiary forms for the IRA.

Another important component of an estate plan in the state of Texas is a durable power of attorney. Durable powers of attorney are legal documents that are necessary to permit other people -- trusted people that one has chosen -- to make financial or medical decisions on one's behalf if one is unable to do so due to falling ill or becoming incapacitated. A probate and estate administration attorney can help people to engage in carefully considered estate planning that addresses all of one's needs and desires.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Is your estate plan up to date? Check these 5 things", Melody Juge, Jan. 11, 2017

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