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Estate planning mistakes can be costly

An increasing number of young people in the state of Texas and elsewhere are writing wills today. In fact, the majority of them have also put together living wills, which allow them to choose parties to make medical decisions for them in the event they become incapacitated. However, a few mistakes can be costly when putting together these types of estate planning documents.

One mistake is not understanding the probate process and how it affects estate planning in Texas. Avoiding probate is a goal of many across the country because the process can be costly and long. One way in which to avoid probate is to set up a trust.

Another mistake is transferring a bank account to a child before one dies to avoid estate taxes and probate. This can be a problem because people today are generally living longer, partly due to living healthier lifestyles. Thus, transferring bank accounts prematurely can leave an estate plan creator destitute in his or her retirement years.

After putting together a comprehensive estate plan, reviewing and updating these legal documents at least one time every three years is paramount. The documents may need to be reviewed more frequently, however, if major life events take place, such as a marriage or the birth of a child. An estate planning attorney in the state of Texas can help with drafting and updating these documents as necessary to make sure that the wishes of the person creating the estate plan will be met after he or she dies.

Source: nytimes.com, "Wills Can Avert Family Warfare, but Have Their Own Hidden Traps", Janet Morrissey, April 21, 2017

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