The holidays can be the perfect time to start estate planning

The holiday season often has Texas residents thinking about their families. While these thoughts could revolve around any number of topics, it could have some parties considering estate planning. Having estate plans can help ensure that loved ones are not left without vital information when they may need it the most.

Some people may find it difficult to start their plans, but estate planning can begin with creating an informal document. A letter of last instruction may not contain legally-binding information, but it can tell loved ones where they can locate important information about financial accounts or insurance policies, and it can also detail where keys are located and reveal passwords for online accounts. This letter can also include the location of wills, health care directives and other similar documents.

Of course, in order for the letter of last instruction to include the location of those documents, they must be created. Only 42 percent of American adults have created a will or living trust. These documents offer several benefits and can help protect assets. The will can dictate how property should be distributed after death, and a living trust can remove assets from the estate, which may lessen estate taxes, and it can also ensure that assets go toward an intended purpose if desired.

The holidays can be a perfect time to consider estate planning as having end-of-life wishes in order can be a significant gift to family members. If Texas residents would like to get started on their plans, they may wish to start by reviewing their planning options and assessing their existing estates. Understanding the details of their estates can help determine what tools can make for the most comprehensive plans.

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