Planning for the future is a common task. Texas residents typically plan for vacations, holidays, weekends and even their retirement. Yet, estate planning is one area in which many tend to think that they don’t really need a plan. Regardless of income or age, an estate plan is an important part of planning and protecting one’s assets.
The first step to accomplish this task is to determine what needs to be included. This can be done by locating important documents and making sure that they are accessible to loved ones when needed. Then, the individual will want to create a listing of all assets with account numbers and item value if appropriate; this should include bank accounts, investments, real estate, treasured jewelry, etc.
The next step is to create or update one’s will. In doing so, one will want to make sure that items that need to be specifically addressed are done so. For example, who should receive Grandma’s diamond ring? Additionally, one will want to make sure that this document is reviewed periodically to see if changes need to be made due to marriage, divorce or other changes which may impact it.
Without proper estate planning, the Texas resident is leaving the decision of who gets what and how his/her assets are distributed up to the courts. Additionally, tax implications can have a significant impact upon one’s assets. However, by working with experienced legal counsel, assets can be protected and the appropriate tools can be created so that the individuals desires are known and met.