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November 2016 Archives

Estate administration rules are uniform and understandable

When a loved one dies, there are some basic principles of estate administration in Texas that will help the surviving family to know what to do. First, the survivors must locate all estate planning papers, such as a will and trust documents. The records of all assets must be accumulated and examined. If all assets were owned jointly with a spouse, or with someone else with the right of survivorship, then there are no assets remaining and no need or reason to file an estate or engage in estate administration.

Estate planning vital for those entering gray marriages

A significant number of marriages nationwide, including in Texas, involve older people who marry for a second or third time. At the same time, a large number of gray divorces take place, and after many years of accumulating assets, both parties may be wise to revise their estate plans before saying "I do." Each spouse may have specific ideas about whom they want to inherit their assets -- will it be their biological children or their stepchildren? If estate planning was left unattended for a while, a former spouse and his or her children might still be listed as recipients.

Estate planning must coordinate life insurance into the plan

Many people in Texas and elsewhere have life insurance policies that are not appropriately coordinated with their estate planning goals. This should be done in consultation with a financial planner or an experienced estate planning attorney. The application of life insurance proceeds can be a valuable addition to an arsenal of tools that are used to achieve the individual's goals for providing for family members.

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