Livens & Reed, PLLC

Avoid these mistakes in estate planning

Many Texas residents and others around the nation may think about the legacy they will leave behind one day. However, most avoid discussing it since it involves thinking about a time when one will no longer be around. While it may be a sensitive topic, estate planning is vital in ensuring that one's assets are handled as desired.

Experts warn that there are a variety of mistakes frequently made as people plan how their estates will be distributed after they are gone. One potentially costly mistake is failing to include a see-through provision on a trust. The tax implications can be significant if this provision is not in place. Also, regarding trusts, there are problems when schedules attached to the trust documents are incomplete or blank. None of the schedules should be blank, so it is critical to make sure all the information is complete and correct.

Another issue for beneficiaries can be a lengthy probate process. Certain beneficiary designations can be placed on various assets so that the probate process can be avoided. Financial planners recommend designating the accounts as POD (payable on death) or TOD (transfer on death). There can also be a problem if someone has too many accounts or does not have a detailed listing of all assets in the estate.

Estate planning can be a complicated process due to all the complexities involving finances. A Texas estate administration attorney can explain the process and help develop an estate plan that addresses a specific situation. Seeking the advice of a knowledgeable attorney can help ensure that one's assets will be distributed exactly as intended in the future.

Source:, "Some of the Biggest Estate-Planning Mistakes People Make", Andrew McNair, May 25, 2017

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