Many Houston area residents will eventually get to the point where they realize that they need to have an estate plan drafted. There are many different reasons for why people finally get to this realization; perhaps a child has been born, or the family is beginning to realize that they have accumulated significant assets. Whatever the reason, it is always a good idea to have an estate plan in place. However, when creating your estate plan, it is very important to do so carefully, and with the help of a skilled attorney. A lawyer can help you avoid the pitfalls that plague many people who try to rush or go it alone when creating a plan.
Perhaps the biggest pitfall to avoid is naming the wrong person to be the executor of the estate. An executor needs to be not only someone that you trust, but also someone who is competent and who can capably complete the tasks and wishes that are laid out in your will.
Next, many people will expose their estates to greater tax implications by failing to take advantage of some of the benefits that are written into the tax code. For instance, there is a gift tax exemption that allows a person to give a financial gift up to a certain amount each year. By doing this, the total amount that faces tax exposure in the estate can be decreased.
Lastly, Houston residents who finally get an estate plan drafted and completed should not get complacent. Estate plans will inevitably need to be updated from time to time. Marriages occur, children are born or other family members who are mentioned in the estate plan might die. It is important to make sure that your estate plan is as accurate as possible at all times.