Livens & Reed, PLLC

Estate planning for the not-so-wealthy in Texas

A person does not need to be wealthy or have an enormous amount of assets to create an estate plan. Well-organized estate planning ensures that Texas estate owners leave their assets to the intended person, even if they have a limited amount. It's important to be aware of what components to have.

One component of an estate plan is a will. A will gives someone the opportunity to dictate to whom and where their valuables and property should be dispersed to. A will also gives instructions on who should care for children left behind. Without a will, the state has jurisdiction over the estate and exercises the right to distribute assets as it sees fit, which can leave loved ones in emotional turmoil.

Another component of an estate plan is Durable Power of Attorney. This gives someone the opportunity to choose a trusted individual to oversee their financial affairs in case they become unable to do so. The person named power of attorney is given authority to make important financial decisions and pay bills on the individual's behalf. Without a power of attorney, the court assigns someone that a person may not even know to act as a custodian on their behalf.

Even though some Texas residents may be nervous about estate planning and the thought of dying, it's still an important process for leaving assets to loved ones. Whether someone is extremely rich or struggling to make ends meet, it's less burdensome when assets are left to the intended person. Once an individual has passed on, an estate plan reduces the work and expenses that family members must encounter. Gaining a through understanding of pertinent laws can benefit estate owners and their beneficiaries.

Source:, Estate planning is important, regardless of the size of your estate, Robert Schwartz, Jan. 8, 2014

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