Texas residents do not have to be wealthy to need an estate plan. Estate planning guarantees that assets are distributed in the way the owner intends. An estate plan benefits those who survive the asset owner by making it clear exactly how money and property will be divided and by helping recipients avoid excessive taxes.
Many people do not make an estate plan because they believe they do not need one. Young people may think they do not have enough assets or that they are not old enough to be estate planning, and older people may be afraid that making an estate plan will cost too much money. However, an estate plan including a will, health care power of attorney and possibly a trust is something that almost everyone needs, especially after a major change in life circumstances such as the birth of a child or a marriage.
While it is important to focus on avoiding excess taxes, it is more important to focus on how assets will be divided. For example, if a family-owned business is to be passed on to children, parents should carefully consider which children will truly want the business and which would rather have cash. If a child is left a share in a business and does not want to run it the situation can quickly become problematic for other siblings.
An estate planning attorney may be able to assist those who want to create a viable estate plan. An attorney may work with those planning the distribution of their assets to create a will, necessary power of attorneys, health care directives and other documents necessary to implement an estate plan.
Source: Fox Business, "Why You Need an Estate Plan", Donna Fuscaldo, June 21, 2013