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Heirs & Beneficiaries Archives

Protecting beneficiaries from taxes may require legal help

For Texas residents who are moving forward with estate planning and are seeking to ensure that their heirs and beneficiaries are cared for after their death, taxes should be considered when preparing for the future. This is true whether the estate is one of significant value, one of moderate value or one with limited assets. Given the fluid nature of the law under the current U.S. government and the uncertainty therein, it becomes even more critical to have a law firm that is experienced in preventing the tax-based depletion of an estate.

Estate planning when an heir might have addiction issues

Texans who are taking the necessary steps with estate planning will have different concerns depending on the circumstances. One issue that is growing problematic not just for society in general, but for those who are thinking about their beneficiaries, is drug addiction. The opioid crisis is something that is becoming a national epidemic and more and more people are thinking about this when they craft an estate plan. People who have heirs who they believe might already be involved in drugs or could be susceptible to the temptation should know how to account for this when they formulate their end of life documents.

An estate plan can help to preserve legacy

Often, Texans who are in the process of estate planning have concerns that go beyond the simple distribution of assets to their designated heirs. In some cases, they also want to preserve legacy. Legacy planning is a term that is frequently used along with or in lieu of estate planning, but it is all part of the process of creating a comprehensive document to suit a person's desires and needs. A problem that comes up with legacy planning is that it has certain perceptions that need to be overcome and facts to understand before adequately addressing the issues that are part of it.

The transfer on death deed

Relatively recently, the Texas Legislature gave the residents this state an additional option for transferring their home or other real estate without having to write up a will and force their beneficiaries to have to go through the probate process. This was a particularly helpful measure for those Houston, Texas residents who may own their own home but who may not have much more in the way of assets.

Estate planning and shielding heirs from themselves

Texans who are estate planning will have much to consider. One of the most common concerns for these individuals when planning distribution of assets to heirs is how to make certain that the heirs are not going to misuse what might be more assets than they have ever had before. Understanding various strategies to avoid this type of issue coming to pass is vital to a coherent and well-crafted estate plan that goes the way the testator wants it to go.

Preventing family fights over your estate

Watching your family grow and change, you may feel sad when you see the tensions that exist among your children, stepchildren or other family members. Perhaps you even anticipate that, after you leave this world, those tensions may become worse, especially if your heirs squabble over your estate. While it may be tempting to leave it all to fate, doing so may result in lifelong discord among your loved ones and bitterness directed at your memory.

Estate planning when there are confusing issues to navigate

A worry that aging people frequently express when considering estate planning options is how best to distribute their assets among their heirs. There are numerous factors that go into this decision and it is often connected to need vs. fairness. For example, the parents might have more than one child with one being highly successful in an endeavor and the other still struggling to find his or her way. Deciding how to divide the estate is a common source of acrimony. Fairness is in the eye of the beholder and it is beneficial for a person to have legal advice as well as practical advice when determining how to divide assets.

How a life estate can help testators and heirs

Even those who have made sure all their beneficiaries are included in their estate plan often forget about their home. Having a beneficiary in a will does not automatically mean that the property will go straight to the children. For example, if there is a mortgage or costs for its upkeep, it might leave the heirs in dire financial straits, particularly if they are not able to sell it.

Beneficiaries can be concerned about preserving assets

Many of our readers have experienced the slow heartbreak of watching an elderly relative's health deteriorate to the point of near incapacity. While the primary concern in this type of situation is obviously the health of the relative, there may be important issues involving that person's assets that need to be addressed as well. If the relative hasn't laid out the appropriate estate plan, the potential beneficiaries can have increased concerns about the preservation of the assets involved.