Texans who are drafting estate planning documents should pay close attention to changes in laws that come about with every governmental power shift. Such is the case with the Trump Administration and its changes to federal tax laws. With it, the amount that people can pass on to heirs doubled without the need to think about the estate tax or to use various trusts to shield wealth.
Posts tagged "Estate planning"
One of the most common concerns for Texans when they think about the future and with drafting estate planning documents is if they have a loved one who will need to be cared for after they are gone. Statistics show than there are more than 40 million people across the nation who had a disability in 2016.
A concern that might not be at the forefront for Texans who have already completed an estate plan is ensuring that it is up to date. However, it is important to think about personal and legal changes that might make it necessary to alter the document to account for them. One issue that is making it wise for just about everyone who has taken the initiative by drafting estate planning documents is the changes to the tax code. Having legal advice when deciding if and how the tax changes will influence an estate plan is imperative.
Even Texans who are drafting estate planning documents and taking the necessary steps to protect their assets and their heirs need to cover all the bases. Part of that is knowing about "ancillary" parts of the estate plan. These factors might not come to the forefront when drafting estate planning documents, but they can be as, if not more, important than the basics like wills, trusts and other documents.
Texans who are thinking about their estate planning needs will frequently focus on the basics, such as asset distribution and basic property matters. However, if it is a person who has accrued wealth and used some of that wealth to collect items, such as art, this enters the realm of complicated estate planning. For those who have collections whose value can be confusion to the uninitiated and might fluctuate based on markets and desirability, it is wise to have strategies to account for these properties. With art, this is particularly important.
Texans who are thinking about starting the new year by cobbling together their estate planning documents should make certain they take the necessary steps to ensure that its strategies suit their needs. One method that might sound unnerving is known as "death cleaning." The truth is that death cleaning is a wise maneuver to make certain that the person's estate is free of complications and is simplified as much as possible. This is a beneficial decision for people young and old. Knowing what to do to make it a reality is crucial.
When a Texan is contemplating strategies for an estate plan, the individual situation will largely dictate how they go about it. Circumstances and personal preferences will play a significant role. If trusts are the preferred method when drafting estate planning documents, there are many options available and individual desires can be paramount. This is exemplified by the details of the trust created by the late publishing magnate Hugh Hefner. In his estate plan, he made certain to include a stipulation that his heirs needed to maintain a certain lifestyle to get their portion of the trust.
Most Texans will never have the level of wealth that famous musicians have. So, when it comes to drafting estate planning documents, people who are of lesser means will frequently scoff at the idea that they can learn something from mistakes made by famous performers who died in the not-so-distant past such as Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney Houston. However, the three artists - who died relatively young - did make mistakes that can provide guidance to people who are formulating their estate plan.
Texans will undoubtedly want to ensure their loved ones are cared for after they are gone and they do so by formulating a comprehensive estate plan. An aspect of an estate plan that is often important to pet owners is how the pet will be cared for. Increasingly, people are taking legal steps to make certain the pet will not be abandoned, ignored or worse after the owner's death. There are important issues to remember with pets and people can put in writing how the pet will be handled.
Texans who take the necessary steps by completing their estate plan often believe that a will is sufficient. However, the reality is that there are other documents that are necessary for full and encompassing protection. If, for example, the person becomes incapacitated, there are strategies that should be in place. There are multiple alternatives to account for this type of event and it is imperative to know what they are and select those that apply.