Beneficiary designations listed on financial accounts can supersede anything written in a last will and testament. Even if a will is redrafted after a divorce, if the beneficiary designation on a 401(k) account is not updated to remove the ex-spouse, then the ex-spouse could ultimately inherit the contents of the 401(k) in the event of the account holder's death. Although it may seem unfair, this is how Texas estate planning law works. Therefore, it is important to remember to review beneficiary designations periodically to ensure they are accurate.
Posts tagged "estate plan"
People in Texas realize the importance of preparing for the future, such as investing for retirement purposes, but they are often not as excited about engaging in estate planning. After all, estate planning requires both time and effort, and people naturally prefer not to discuss the topic of death. The process can be more manageable, however, if ones breaks up the process into individual tasks.
Many Texas residents are astounded at the manner in which technology has changed our daily lives. The Internet in particular has had an enormous level of impact on the manner in which we communicate, share and store information. For those who are considering their estate planning needs, it is important to understand that technology has created an entirely new form of assets which need to be addressed.
When constructing an estate plan, there are a number of considerations that must be made. Individuals and families in Texas must determine how they wish their wealth to be distributed after their deaths and then determine which estate planning tools are best suited to reach their desired outcomes. Each scenario is unique, but there is a solution to fit virtually every set of needs. When creating an estate plan, it is very important to avoid errors that can derail even the best-laid plans.
Not matter how much wealth you have been able to accumulate during your life, it is vital to have a functioning estate plan. Indeed, estate planning is not just about distributing money to your heirs. Estate planning is about making life easier on your heirs when you are gone, and it is also about making life easier on your caretakers in the event that you become incapacitated.
Many in Texas and elsewhere thrive on the challenge of taking care of household projects and repairs themselves in an attempt to save on the costs they might incur if hiring a professional. Some have a similar mindset where finances and estate planning are concerned. A recent article suggested caution in this area and outlined the pros and cons of do-it-yourself planning when it comes to trusts, wills and estates.
Texas residents who have yet to create an estate plan will no doubt have a lot of questions about the estate planning process. Indeed, you might even be wondering what estate planning is or why you even need an estate plan. To answer this question, one should address the basics. Estate planning helps ensure that the final wishes you have for your health and property are honored when you are not able to communicate those wishes -- either due to your incapacitation or death.
Many Texas parents are uncertain whether to share the details of their estate plans with their adult children. On one hand, having these discussions can reduce the tension and stress that follows the loss of a loved one, since everyone will know what to expect. On the other hand, a high level of tension and stress can be brought about by having such conversations. While this may be a difficult topic for many parents to broach with their children, estate planning is an area in which transparency is usually the best policy.
When it comes to planning their estates, most Texas residents want to know how they can limit the tax burdens that their heirs might face. Estate tax planning is very important for wealthy individuals to consider -- especially individuals who have estates close to or in excess of $5.43 million. Texas residents with estates this large will want to know how federal estate taxes will apply to them and develop strategies to limit these tax liabilities.
Many Texas residents are familiar with the work of comedian and actor Robin Williams. When Williams died late last year, he did so having put together an estate planning package that he believed would address the distribution of his estate between his intended heirs. While it appears that the more significant assets were handled through the use of various trusts, his surviving family members are currently embroiled in a struggle over many of his personal belongings.