estate planning Archives

Difficulties faced by the executors of loved ones' estates

If a financially comfortable loved one has died, then there will be some time-consuming tasks for the executor to take on. Residents of Texas who decide to administer the estate rather than hire a professional executor should be aware of what some of these tasks are. The basic steps are identifying assets, paying off debts and distributing the estate to the rightful heirs and beneficiaries. There are also taxes to deal with.

Trusts can be a key estate tool for parents

Having children may prompt many people in Texas to think more about planning for the future, especially because they want to ensure that their kids will be taken care of in case of a tragedy. However, this can also be a reason to do more with an estate plan than simply creating a will. Simple wills are appealing to many because they are straightforward and can be completed quickly. However, they are less appropriate for passing on assets to minor children. People who want to make a bequest to their young children may wish to consider a trust in addition to a will.

Why estate planning is important for baby boomers

For the youngest baby boomers in Texas, 2019 will mark their 55th birthdays. This occasion may prompt many in that generation to think about how they will plan for the future, including their retirements as well as passing on assets. The baby-boom generation is the wealthiest in American history, with over $30 trillion in assets to spend or pass along in the coming several decades. Nevertheless, many don't have estate plans. Up to 42 percent of baby boomers have yet to create an estate plan or even a basic will.

Estate plans are rarely set in stone

A will that is created in Texas may or may not be valid in another state. It is also possible that a will created today won't meet a person's needs in a year or a decade from now. Therefore, it is important that a person takes time to review an estate plan after it has been created. An estate review includes spending time looking at beneficiary designations on 401(k) plans and similar documents.

Asset protection and irrevocable trusts

People in Texas who are planning for the future may be looking for ways to best pass on their wealth to future generations while simultaneously shielding themselves from taxes over the years. Irrevocable trusts can be an important tool that help people to achieve their goals for their assets. When people transfer property to this kind of trust, it is removed from the estate of the trust creator. It also means that the creator has to relinquish control over the assets, an option that could help to protect beneficiaries from creditors or other parties.

Why it's never too soon to explore estate planning options

It's not unusual for younger, single, or unmarried individuals in Texas to not fully understand the importance of being proactive with estate planning. In fact, more than 75 percent of millennials say they do not have a will, according to results from one survey on the subject. Some people find the topic too unpleasant to think about while others fail to see the importance of planning ahead.

Estate planning is a must for parents

The estate planning process is important for Texas parents as it can provide a way to ensure that their children are cared for. There are a number of issues that parents can address in an estate plan. For example, one can name a preferred guardian for their children in case they pass away. In order for this to go into effect, however, a court will need to approve this long-term plan.

Interest rates can influence estate planning choices

For many in Texas, trusts have an important role to play as part of an overall estate plan that can best represent the interests and desires of the person who created the trust. Not only do trusts allow for precision and ease in passing assets to beneficiaries after a person has passed away, but they can also provide greater financial and tax benefits than other options. However, as interest rates change, the decisions people make about trusts can also change.

Charitable gifts and estate planning after tax reform

Many changes affected federal estate taxes with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017. Some people have wondered if fewer individuals in Texas and across the country may choose to include philanthropy as part of the estate planning process as a result. The fact that charitable gifts made in a will are exempt from inheritance and federal estate taxes has helped to spur significant giving from donors over the years. However, including philanthropic giving as part of one's estate can also provide powerful intangible rewards reflecting social priorities.

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