Most Texas residents and others around the country give little thought to how life will be when they are no longer around. This is particularly true of younger generations, who likely have not started families or have not yet amassed much in assets. However, financial experts believe that it is never too early to start the estate planning process, regardless of age or amount of assets.
One critical reason for developing an estate plan is to address how things will be managed should a person become unable to make decisions independently. It would comforting to know a person's affairs could be handled as desired in the event he or she becomes incapacitated in some way. Planning ahead affords the opportunity to name someone to act on one's behalf.
An estate plan often contains a will or other documents that define how assets should be distributed after someone passes. These documents can also include instructions about how minor children should be cared for as well. Estate plans can also help ease the tax liability for beneficiaries. The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included provisions to allow tax-free monetary gifts and payments of educational and medical expenses.
Some estate plans also include directives regarding charitable donations. These directives ensure that funds will be passed along to the specific organizations named in the plans. If a family does have considerable assets, estate plans are imperative to provide wealth protection. Involving family members during this phase can create a greater understanding of the need to protect a family's legacy.
A Texas attorney familiar with estate administration can help someone through every stage of the estate planning process. An experienced lawyer understands the desire to have peace of mind regarding one's family. Having a comprehensive estate plan in place ensures that one's assets will be disbursed as directed. It will also offer the confidence of knowing that one's futures wishes will be carried out as desired.