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Posts tagged "estate planning"

New tax laws not the only reason to update an estate plan

Texas residents who were estimating how the new tax laws would affect them should know about the changes to the estate tax. The amount that is exempted has doubled to around $11.2 million for an individual and twice that for couples. While this is important to those with a large amount assets and who would like to ensure that the amount subject to tax is minimized, there are reasons to think about estate planning and periodically update documents regardless of the size of the estate.

Trusts are often preferable than simply willing assets to heirs

Texans who are crafting an estate plan might want to keep the document as simple as possible and give their heirs their inheritance immediately. This is especially true when the testator has adult children and believes they are of sufficient education, age and maturity that they can handle the inheritance which, in some cases, might be substantial. Leaving the assets to the adult children outright is what is frequently done. Trusts are generally perceived to be for children under the age of 18 and those who need special assistance. But trusts can also be valuable for adult children.

Common mistakes made when crafting living trusts

Estate planning strategies inevitably differ based on the individual's needs. Texans who are in the process of deciding what form of estate plan they want to use might be confused by all the available options. Trusts are a common method of estate planning. However, those who have a revocable living trust could be missing out on the advantages they can use with a living trust. Knowing those advantages is step one in utilizing and maximizing them.

Wills are often not enough for comprehensive estate planning

Responsible Texans will take the imperative steps to craft their estate plan to adhere to their desires and loved ones' needs. Many will think that they have done what is necessary to ensure their plan is airtight and covers all eventualities by having a basic will. However, mistakes are common when drafting estate planning documents. In many cases, the person will use the wrong estate planning vehicle to suit their needs. In others, they will not go as far as they should by stopping at a simple will without considering the possibility that other steps should be taken. Knowing when to go beyond a will is imperative with any comprehensive estate plan.

What should I know about a medical power of attorney?

Drafting estate planning documents in Texas should be comprehensive and adhere to all the needs and desires the person has. For some, a health proxy is one of the key factors they will think about as they formulate strategies for their estate plan. Understanding all the various aspects and requirements for a medical power of attorney is one of the most important factors for it being complete and achieving the desired ends.

Tailoring an estate plan based on the new tax laws

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.

Important considerations with a special needs trust in Texas

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.

Avoiding updating estate plan documents is a mistake

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.

Legal help with "ancillary" parts of estate planning

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.

Drafting estate planning documents with a notable art collection

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.

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