Despite what some mistakenly believe, making preparations for who will receive an individual's legacy after death is not just reserved for the rich and wealthy. Anyone in Texas with any amount of assets can benefit from engaging in estate planning. One important component of an estate plan is a will, something which can certainly make the probate process less complicated.
One couple, who is also living debt-free, is planning on shelling out a large amount in wedding expenses for their children. They wish to be able to travel in their retirement years and cover education expenses for one of their children. They have a certain amount in savings from multiple sources, but they could use some improvement. The couple has not issued any power of attorney documents and they have not created a will. With appropriate estate planning, however, the couple can make sure that their wishes are carried out.
To increase the chances of an easier probate process, the couple needs to consider preparing a will. A will gives instructions for how assets are to be distributed. At some point in time, a person may become incapacitated and in those instances, powers of attorney can be extremely helpful. A power of attorney authorizes someone to make financial decisions on behalf of another person, should that person become unable to make those decisions for themselves.
Estate planning can help to ease the probate process and carry out an individual's wishes in the event of death. An estate plan typically instructs loved ones on how to distribute the assets and who inherits what. Without some form of estate plan, the state may exercise jurisdiction over the estate and distribute assets how it sees fit rather than according to a person's specific wishes. Texas residents can benefit from ensuring they fully understand their options to ensure their estate plans are prepared in a legally binding manner.
Source: nj.com, "Your Money: Estate planning not just money lingo for the rich, it could save your long-term financial plan", Karin Price Mueller, May 4, 2014