Many residents of Texas and people living throughout the country are not worried about the federal estate tax these days. For example, a married couple can exempt up to the first $10,680,000 in assets from the tax. It's roughly half that amount for a single person. However, the need to do estate planning is not lessened just because your estate may not be exposed to a federal estate tax at death.
Estate planning is an important contribution to the peace of mind of those in Texas and elsewhere who go through the process. People have a feeling of relief knowing that their loved ones will receive their assets unimpeded by intrusive rules or burdensome taxes. Estate planning goes hand-in-hand with long-term care planning, which is basically the setting up in advance of certain protections that will serve to preserve assets for your loved ones if you have to enter a nursing home or for long-term homecare.
Whether you reside in Texas or elsewhere, the legal documents that are prepared for estate planning usually require designating your representative, who will administer the duties set forth in each particular legal directive. Thus, a will requires an executor, and a power of attorney requires the appointment of your agent who will exercise the power. A trust requires a trustee to administer the funds. However, for some people the choice of representatives in estate planning can be somewhat problematic.
People typically prefer to avoid discussing difficult topics, such as death and creating a will. However, wills are essential for protecting family members in the event of one's death. With a will, a person can make sure that his or her minor kids will be cared for and that loved ones get the assets he or she wants them to have. Several mistakes are important to avoid as far as estate planning is concerned in Texas.
A person who has children typically plans to pass assets on to the kids upon his or her death. This can easily be achieved through the estate planning process. The question for those who don't have children, however, is who will end up getting their assets and valuables when they die. Even more planning and thought is often necessary for these individuals in Texas.
A recent article in Forbes discusses a television series on the Reelz channel called Celebrity Legacies. Shown nationally, including in Texas, the cable series delves into the details surrounding a deceased celebrity’s estate. Other than the sheer attraction that many people have to the lives and deaths of celebrities, the series also gives us a chance to see where we may have gone right or wrong in our own estate planning activities.
An estate plan is a person's program for the maintenance and distribution of assets, both during life and at death. Estate planning is the process of making an estate plan. The process, and the legal "instruments" representing separate components of the plan, are generally similar in Texas and all other states. There are, however, some deviations in the details, procedures, tax obligations and the terminology from state to state.
Estate planning can be critical for those facing a gradually increasing medical disability. That was the unfortunate situation for a Texas couple in their early seventies. The husband had been in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease for several years, which gave them time to make sure that they updated and maximized necessary estate planning protections.
There are numerous reasons for an individual to review his or her estate plan periodically for changes, additions, subtractions or modifications. This is true for residents of Texas as well as those who reside in other states. Estate planning is an exceptionally beneficial legal process. It serves to protect and assure the wishes of the individual, along with maximizing resources and utilizing the options available for effective tax planning.
Texas residents may agree that death planning ranks high on any person’s list of difficult things to do. However, taking care of it as part of one’s estate planning may be the only way to have some degree of control over the end of one’s own life. Such planning may also save an individual’s loved ones from having to make difficult decisions after one’s death. Although it is not an easy discussion to have, one’s preferences in different situations that may occur should be discussed and recorded. Such records should be available to one’s next of kin when drafted, as it could be too late to perform many of the instructions therein if found after one’s death.