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Duck estate-planning fiascos before it's too late

Some estate planning mistakes are not discovered until it is too late, after the testator dies. However, Houston individuals can discuss estate planning with a qualified professional to ensure that their assets are handled in an effective way after their death.

One problem occurs when there are not adequate resources available to pay estate taxes. An estate plan may consist of a plan that leaves certain funds available to handle estate taxes. In this way, each beneficiary's share is not affected by the value of the estate and assets would not need to be liquidated. Unlike other creditors who may be barred from seeking the inheritance or trust assets of beneficiaries, the Internal Revenue Service is able to attach more assets from the testator's estate to acquire taxed owed to it.

Another problem that a solid estate plan can remedy is planning for contingencies, rather than leaving the plan susceptible to injury. For example, a testator may wish to leave funds to a child and may not think about what will happen to the funds if the child is still a minor when the testator dies. Without a good plan, these assets may revert to the child's guardian to use in any way that he or she sees fit until the child reaches the age of maturity. Instead, a testator can establish various contingencies in his or her will or trust. A testator can establish a trust that strictly specifies how funds should be used on behalf of the child. Other trusts or wills can be made in a way that also takes simultaneous death into consideration, such as if a husband and a wife pass away in an accident together.

An estate planning attorney works with clients in making plans that suit their lives. They have the ability to draft wills, trusts, powers of attorneys and other important documents pertaining to various situations.

Source: FOX Business, "Duck Estate-Planning Fiascos Before it", Sheyna Steiner, May 13, 2013

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