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Estate planning tips may help with avoiding pitfalls

Completing an estate plan may seem overwhelming. This is particularly true for individuals with a large number of assets or with high-value assets. A few tips may help people to avoid some common pitfalls of estate planning in Texas.

First, some brokerage companies or banks will not accept a power of attorney regarding their accounts. However, they usually offer their own forms that a person can use for naming a person to legally represent his or her accounts. It is also important to ensure that all insurance policies have designated beneficiaries.

Another important consideration is that a 401k or IRA must be in a person's name. These types of retirement accounts cannot be placed in a trust while the person is alive, either. In addition, it is critical to ensure that beneficiaries have been specified for these types of retirement accounts, although an inheritor will end up having to pay taxes if he or she takes the whole amount. When it comes to one's house, it is possible enable the home to pass to somebody else without having to go to probate, simply by having a beneficiary deed created in that other party's name.

It is easy to become preoccupied with the responsibilities of daily life and thus ignore the task of estate planning. However, failure to create an estate plan in Texas means the state will end up determining what happens to one's assets in the event of one's death. Through well-thought-out estate planning, it is possible to ensure that one's are distributed as intended when the times comes.

Source:, "Estate planning and elder law benefit all ages", Kaye Patchett, Dec. 2, 2016

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