Readers in Texas know that there are many reasons to enter into the estate planning process. Commonly, people consider estate planning first because they have specific assets that they wish to leave an heir or to avoid some estate taxes. However, other reasons include naming a guardian for minor children, appointing executors or power of attorney holders and creating healthcare directives.
Estate planning most often begins first with a comprehensive review of all of the assets available. This includes all accounts and property currently owned and any future inheritance that may be anticipated. Once this is completed, a person can decide which of the various estate planning tools best applies to their personal situation.
Most often, people in Texas turn to creating either a will or a trust. Each of these allows for the distribution of assets, though trusts may be able to control the timing of the distribution. Other documents, such as a power of attorney, can in many cases be modified to ensure that they come into effect only when an individual becomes incapacitated.
A review of all available options is a good action for those seeking to begin the estate planning process. This effort ensures that all of the wishes of the individual are followed when they die or become unable to care for themselves. In addition to the initial creation of these documents, it can be a good idea for people to periodically review the materials to ensure that they adequately reflect the current life situation of the person who created the plan.
Source: Fox Business, How to Make Estate Planning Less Complex, Casey Dowd, Aug. 22, 2013