estate planning & probate Archives

Estate planning can protect people from elder abuse

Failing to plan for the future can have costly and dangerous impacts on people in Texas, especially seniors over 65 who do not have a will or other key estate planning documents. One Wells Fargo survey found that around 40 percent of Americans in this age group do not have critical documents in place that can protect them if they are incapacitated and can make sure their wishes are followed upon their death. Without these plans in place, people can be more vulnerable to financial abuse and exploitation, a major concern for elderly Americans.

Estate planning can be crucial for the future

For people in Texas concerned about providing for their loved ones and preparing for the future, estate planning is a must. This process involves the creation of certain documents, like wills, trusts and powers of attorney, in order to arrange for how a person's assets will be handled through their life and after death. It can also address key concerns like how decisions will be made on key matters like healthcare or finances in case a person is incapacitated. While many people recognize just how important it can be to draw up an estate plan, 55 percent of Americans do not have the most basic document: a will.

Pitfalls to avoid in creating a trust

A trust can be a powerful tool as part of a Texas resident's estate plan. Assets such as annuities or life insurance policies can be placed in a trust so they can increase in value while tax deferred or tax free. A person can also place conditions on distributions such as having them go to a beneficiary over a period of time or after reaching certain milestones. The grantor may have a goal for the trust, such as providing for the education of grandchildren, that can be written into the document.

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