The Livens Law Firm

Estate planning is an important part of a financial plan

Family members with considerable assets may be unaware of the best way to bestow their wealth upon future generations. There are several options available for gifting to loved ones and donating to charities as part of bequeathing one's estate. In Texas and other states, estate planning can ensure assets are divided among the right beneficiaries.

Donating to charity can set an example about the importance of giving and can help foster a sense of empathy for others in need. It could be the humane society or local churches or even a struggling family within the neighborhood. An estate plan can guarantee that a favorite charitable organization is remembered according to one's wishes.

Trusts are useful in protecting assets from litigation, divorce and creditors. With trusts, one can dictate requirements for heirs to receive money such as completing educational requirements and acquiring gainful employment. In Texas, a trust can even protect assets from an heir's destructive behavior but can also allow beneficiaries to gain access to trusts more quickly and easier than with a will.

Every financial plan can benefit by including estate planning measures as well. Without one, estates may be held up in probate court, racking up additional expenses and causing long drawn out delays as well as the loss of privacy. It is important to update plans at regular intervals and after major life events such as the birth of a child, a divorce or marriage. An estate administration attorney can provide clients with peace of mind, knowing that their wishes will be carried out when the time comes to do so.

Source: CNBC, "What you don't know about estate planning will cost you", Ted Snow, April 23, 2018

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