The importance of organizing an estate

Texas residents who are creating an estate plan should make sure their affairs organized. There is a physical and a financial component to this.

Often, family members are left to sort through an enormous number of belongings after losing a loved one. There might be valuables among these belongings, so they may feel obligated to go through everything carefully while they are still grieving. People can begin streamlining their possessions over a long period of time so the family is not burdened by this task.

People should try to organize their financial paperwork as well so their loved ones can find necessary documents. They should also consider streamlining finances. Financial services firms that have not had contact with their account holders for years might transfer those accounts to the state. This process is called escheat. Organizing finances can also include making a list of all assets and necessary account numbers, contact information, online access codes and any other necessary information. Tracking down all this information can be costly to heirs in terms of resources.

One consideration for a person who is creating an estate plan is who to choose as the executor for the will. This person does not need to be a financial expert, but it should be someone who is responsible and organized. The person can also seek an attorney's assistance in estate administration and probate. An executor's duties may include identifying assets, paying creditors, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Assets that are passed on to heirs using a will must go through a legal process known as probate, and an attorney can assist an executor in this regard.

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