There are several steps that people in Texas should consider taking before entering into the process for planning their estate. These often include completing a document that details all of the available assets and desires for their distribution. This information can make it easier for a person in our state to choose which of the vast array of options available in estate planning would work best for them.
In some cases, people in Texas find that a will can do what they need in terms of estate planning. This is because of this document's flexibility and ability to be created to disburse assets to many individuals and organizations. However, some seek other options because of a will's need to go through the sometimes cumbersome probate process.
In the case of a trust, assets are placed under the ownership of that estate planning tool. When an individual passes away, their assets are distributed by the trustee as directed in the estate planning document. However, if an asset has not been placed in the trust, it will likely require the probate process, much like those in a will.
Because there are many tools available for estate planning for people in Texas, it is often helpful to complete a review of all available tools before beginning. In addition, some find it a good idea to create a detailed document that lays out what assets are available and should be included in a complete plan. Once finished, it is also important to do periodic reviews to ensure that any new assets are included. Because this process can appear complicated to some here in our state, many decide to seek information from those who are familiar with the process to ensure that a positive result is achieved.
Source: money.usnews.com, 4 Steps for Simple Estate Planning, Trent Hamm, Dec. 17, 2013