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February 2015 Archives

Tips on discussing estate planning matters with heirs

Many Texas parents are uncertain whether to share the details of their estate plans with their adult children. On one hand, having these discussions can reduce the tension and stress that follows the loss of a loved one, since everyone will know what to expect. On the other hand, a high level of tension and stress can be brought about by having such conversations. While this may be a difficult topic for many parents to broach with their children, estate planning is an area in which transparency is usually the best policy.

Important points about estate tax planning

When it comes to planning their estates, most Texas residents want to know how they can limit the tax burdens that their heirs might face. Estate tax planning is very important for wealthy individuals to consider -- especially individuals who have estates close to or in excess of $5.43 million. Texas residents with estates this large will want to know how federal estate taxes will apply to them and develop strategies to limit these tax liabilities.

Family of Robin Williams at odds over estate planning

Many Texas residents are familiar with the work of  comedian and actor Robin Williams. When Williams died late last year, he did so having put together an estate planning package that he believed would address the distribution of his estate between his intended heirs. While it appears that the more significant assets were handled through the use of various trusts, his surviving family members are currently embroiled in a struggle over many of his personal belongings.

The probate process in Texas

Most Texas residents only have to go through probate proceedings once or twice in their lifetime. As a result, the process tends to be mysterious and difficult to understand for the average person -- because most people do not have a lot of experience with it. Even if a Texas estate is a relatively simple one, and regardless one's experience with such proceedings, the probate process can quickly become overwhelming.