Although planning for one's death is generally not an appealing activity for individuals in Texas and other states, creating an estate plan is essential for protecting one's assets in the event of one's death. Unfortunately, sometimes people do not create estate plans, or even if they do engage in estate planning, they make some costly mistakes. A couple of tips may help Texas residents with estate planning.
First, it is important to ensure that one's will or trust reflects one's current wishes. This means it is necessary to amend these estate planning documents following a significant event, such as a wedding or divorce. Other events that may spark the need to adjust one's estate plan include the purchase of a business or the birth of a child or grandchild.
Second, planning for disability is wise. Estate planning is not just about planning for death; it is also about filing power-of-attorney documents designed to protect a person in the event he or she becomes incapacitated. A power of attorney that is properly drafted gives a person's loved ones the authority necessary to make financial and medical decisions when that person is unable to do so on his or her own.
The estate planning process can be complicated, especially for individuals with a large number of assets or with high-value assets and many intended beneficiaries. An applied understanding of the law in Texas, however, may help a person to navigate the ins and outs of the process. Through proper legal guidance, people can take the necessary steps to safeguard their own assets, protect their own interests and protect the best interests of their loved ones as well.
Source: Forbes, "Prince Made One Of The 4 Big Estate-Planning Mistakes", Danielle and Andrew Mayoras, April 27, 2016