Livens & Reed, PLLC

Creative estate planning tips for Texas residents

There are a variety of ways individuals can leave behind assets to their family and loved ones. One of the most efficient ways for Texas residents to ensure that their wishes are carried out after death is through proper estate planning. There are different components and tips that can be included in estate plans.

One tip that can be used is opening a bank account in the estate's name. Individuals can establish benefits such as pension, employer benefits and Social Security. For families to have access to important documents, it is recommended that a well-written checklist is provided. Some of the most important documents loved ones will need to locate are life insurance polices and retirement accounts. Other important documents are powers of attorney, trusts and wills.

Another tip to ensure benefits are going to the right person is to review any investment polices. If anything needs to be changed, it is typically best to revise it as soon as possible. In regard to spouses, it may be a good idea to include long-term care needs the surviving spouse may have. Also, individuals may wish to update the spouse's beneficiaries on certain documents such as power of attorney and wills.

Individuals do not need to be well-off in order to create an estate plan. Estate planning is important to establish a person's wishes in the event of a death or incapacity. Whether individuals are married or single, proper estate planning can ensure loved ones do not have the headache of entering a courtroom to fight over assets. Expanding knowledge on applicable Texas state laws can help create legally binding documents and simplify the process.

Source:, Your Money Matters: Estate planning tips, No author, Feb. 24, 2014

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