The importance of an estate plan

Having a carefully crafted will is important, but this only a small part of ensuring that assets will be managed in accordance with one's wishes. A well-developed estate plan is necessary to address the complicated issues that can arise regarding a decedent's estate. With an estate plan, a Texas resident can specify what should happen to their estate after they die, their reasons for wanting their estate handled in a specific way and who should be in charge of the estate to ensure that it is managed properly.

In addition to having a will, an estate plan could include trusts, powers of attorney and a health care directive. Furthermore, documents will be necessary to express one's reasons or intent for the decisions they make.

With an estate plan, heirs can be given a sense of clarity about a decedent's estate. This can be very helpful in situations when the decedent was married multiple times. An estate plan is also an efficient way for heirs to avoid the significant fees, taxes and court costs as well as family conflicts that can arise after the death of an estate owner.

To begin an estate plan, individuals should draft a comprehensive list of all of their debts owed, assets and insurance policies. An estimated value of the assets should be included as well as the names of the existing owners and beneficiaries.

Legal counsel could evaluate the estate of a client and recommend which legal documents should be included in their estate plan. The lawyer may assist with drafting wills, the provisions of trusts and powers of attorney.

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