You create an estate plan with the idea that it will be 100 percent perfect. And while this may be your intention, there is no guarantee of it happening. It's easy to make mistakes along the way, especially if you don't seek the appropriate assistance.
Posts tagged "Estate planning"
The estate planning process is complicated, as you're sure to have a variety of concerns weighing you down. Fortunately, with so many tools at your disposal, you should be able to find one that suits your situation.
There are different ways that people in Texas can leave their property to their loved ones after they pass away. One is by simply allowing their property to pass according to the intestate laws. However, people can also dictate where their property goes by drafting a will or a trust. Both allow people to specifically state who receives their property, but trusts have the added benefits of keeping people's estates from going through probate.
Many people in Texas have wills or trusts drafted during their lives to help ensure their property goes to the people they want after they die. Throughout people's lives, circumstances change, and life may be very different than when people originally drafted their will or trust. One way that people's lives may have changed is that they may have gotten divorced.
A previous post on this blog talked about how some Texas residents may choose to execute what is often referred to as a health care proxy but may also be referred to as a medical power of attorney. To review, the health care proxy is a document a Houston resident can give their loved one or another trusted individual which gives them the power to make medical decisions, even if those decisions are a matter of life or death.
Most of us understand the importance of having a valid will, but very few understand the requirements upon which a will's validity depends. A will must satisfy two kinds of criteria to be valid. First, the will must satisfy the formal requirements of execution and being witnessed. Second, a will must satisfy the requirements relating to the testator's state of mind at the time that the will is signed.
More and more Texas couples are choosing to live together without getting married, especially if one or both partners are over the age of 50. This choice has many reasons, but according to several studies, the most prevalent reason is the memory of a difficult divorce and a wish to avoid repeating this experience. Living together has an appeal for many people who want to emphasize the emotional connection and avoid the restrictive formalities of marriage. However, living together has a number of legal risks that should be explored before beginning co-habitation.
Many Houston couples reside in a house or condominium that is owned by only one of them. In most cases, the person who owns the real estate wants to ensure that title to the property passes to the other member of the couple, if the owner should be the first to die.
Texas parents with special needs children are constantly faced with the question of how to provide for the child's expenses. This question is especially vexing when the issue is estate planning. Special needs children often rely on a variety of state and federal programs to provide financial assistance, but eligibility for these programs can often by undercut by estate plans that do not take into account the limits on the child's income and assets that can affect eligibility. The solution to this problem is often provided by a special needs trust.
Recently on this blog, we discussed the federal estate tax and noted that its exemption is now set at $11.4 million. Since Texas has no state estate tax, and few Texas individuals leave behind an estate worth more than $11.4 million, most Texas families need not concern themselves with estate taxes when they are preparing their estate plans.