It is natural to want to avoid creating an estate plan. After all, people in Texas generally prefer not to discuss topics related to death, or they may think that estate planning is not necessary since they do not have many assets. However, developing an estate plan is a critical part of planning for the inevitable in the future.
An important first step in estate planning is deciding who should be named as heirs. It is important to clearly spell out whether certain friends, pets, distant relatives or charities should receive parts of one's estate. It is also important to designate who should be appointed as executor to carry out one's wishes.
The executor will assume the responsibility of collecting the assets of the estate as well as inventorying the property. This individual will also pay any claims against one's estate, including taxes, and will distribute assets to beneficiaries. These important tasks should ideally be assigned to a close friend or relative who is financially responsible. Alternatively, a financial institution could be selected.
If a person in Texas dies and does not have a will, this may cause additional and unnecessary grief to his or her family. Decisions regarding who should administer the estate and who should be the guardian of the person's minor children, if any, will be made through the probate court. Likewise, the court will determine who will end up inheriting the person's money, based upon the state's laws of intestacy. The right legal guidance can help people to engage in detailed estate planning that ultimately reflects their desires and their loved ones' best interests.
Source: time.com, "Estate Planning: How to Leave Money to Your Kids", Kerri Anne Renzulli, Nov. 30, 2016