Planning an estate in Texas involves making use of many available tools. Most commonly, people in our state use wills and trusts to make their wishes as to estate division known after their death. Using these types of estate planning tools, an individual can work to ensure that their beneficiaries are taken care of after they die.
One common method of estate planning in Texas is using a will. This type of document can be combined with a trust to maximize the amount of assets that beneficiaries can receive. This can be achieved because much of what is placed in a trust is not subject to the probate process at the time of death. In particular, many seek to use a living trust to protect assets both before and after death.
A will is most often subject to the probate process. It covers assets that are not subject to a named beneficiary at the time of a person's death. However, property that has been placed in a trust prior to death may fall outside of the will in the probate process.
Because some in Texas may find that the estate planning process can be complicated, it may benefit these individuals to learn as much as possible about the vast array of such tools available. Estate planning with wills and trusts can be customized to reflect the needs of almost every estate. This can benefit beneficiaries who expect to receive an inheritance as well as the individual seeking to create an estate plan.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Planning an estate entails more than just drawing up a will," Elliot Raphaelson, Oct. 4, 2012