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Estate planning involves addressing beneficiary designations

As time passes, life circumstances change. The problem for many in the state of Texas, however, is that they fail to develop estate plans that reflect their circumstances, or they do not keep their estate plans updated. In these cases, they essentially end up outgrowing their estate plans. A few tips may help with completing thorough estate planning that offers the long-term protection of assets.

First, the beneficiary designations on a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, an IRA account or an annuity or life insurance contracts, are designed to pass property and assets directly to those who have been named beneficiaries. For this reason, updating beneficiary designations regularly is essential. Otherwise, an unintended person may end up getting these types of assets.

With a trust, the provisions of the trust govern the disposition of all assets held in the trust. A revocable living trust is another type of trust that can come in handy for those who own property in other states. This type of trust helps with avoiding probate in multiple jurisdictions.

Business owners in the state of Texas must especially be mindful of estate planning due to the complexities of owning a business, including business property. Succession planning involves creating a structured, orderly plan for transferring the management, ownership and control of a business. An attorney can help with navigating the estate planning process at all stages of life so that assets and property are preserved and end up in the proper hands when one passes away.

Source: thecrier.net, "Estate planning basics 2017", Lewis Walker, Jan. 31, 2017

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