Livens & Reed, PLLC

Why having a will is not always enough

Estate planning is important, which most adults in Texas can probably agree on. Agreeing on what should go into those estate plans might be a little more difficult. This is partly because everyone's estate planning needs are different. However, it is important to not make assumptions about one's own needs, especially if an estate plan only consists of a will and nothing else.

When a person passes away, his or her will has to go through probate. During this legal process, assets are supposed to be distributed according to the will. This can be a time-consuming process even in the best circumstances, but there are often complicating factors. For example, someone can choose to contest a will. This could end with that court going against the deceased's wishes.

A trust can address this and a number of possible problems. With a revocable living trust, a person's estate will not have to go through the lengthy and sometimes unreliable probate process. Instead, assets should easily transfer to named heirs according to the trust's instructions. Those instructions might even specify that an heir should only receive assets at certain ages or specific intervals.

Trusts have a bit of a bad rap, especially since movies and TV shows tend to portray them negatively. This completely ignores the many benefits of using a trust. These useful estate planning tools can even be used in conjunction with other documents. For example, someone might decide that using both a will and a trust best suits his or her needs. Estate planning can be confusing though, so some Texas residents choose to speak with an experienced attorney about their options.

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Livens & Reed, PLLC

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