Livens & Reed, PLLC

Avoid some common misconceptions about estate planning

Texas residents often discuss their retirement years with financial planners, frequently going to great lengths to assure that they will have sufficient income streams when they are no longer working. Some also have wills in place that name beneficiaries who will receive assets after their passing. While these are important steps to take while thinking about long-terms needs, many individuals do not fully plan for all aspects of their future. Experts report that comprehensive estate planning is often overlooked or considered unnecessary.

Financial advisers stress that estate planning should be deemed as simply planning for life. Estate plans include directives about how things should be handled after one's death, yet they can also address many more important issues. It is important to consider questions regarding long-term care or end-of-life decisions before one may become incapacitated. However, some people do not see the need for estate planning for various reasons.

There are many people who think estate planning is for the wealthy. Experts stress that anyone who hopes to pass along any property or assets to their loved ones should have a plan in place. It would also be prudent to name guardians for minor children should something happen to their parents.

Some individuals may rely solely on a will to handle the distribution of all of their estate. They may be surprised to learn that some assets are not covered under the  provisions of a will. For example, qualified retirement accounts or life insurance policies with designed beneficiaries are handled separately from the probate process of a will. Finally, even with a plan in place, it is critical to review it periodically and update it accordingly.

After many years of hard work, it would be comforting to know that loved ones are protected after a death or incapacitation. A Texas attorney familiar with estate administration can assist clients throughout every step of the estate planning process. An experienced lawyer will work toward the goal of ensuring that a person's financial plans and wishes are documented for the future.

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