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Important estate planning considerations in Texas

Most parents in Texas spend their life attempting to be fair to their children and ensuring that they treat them equally. However, some come to the realization that fair treatment does not always mean treating children the same way. The same extends to the estate planning process. Parents are often left making difficult decisions in how their estate will be divided and who will serve as their personal representative.

Parents who are making decisions regarding the distribution and administration of their estate often consider family dynamics. For example, many people name their oldest child to serve as the executor of their estate. While this may seem like the fair option, it ignores the fact that there may be others who are more suited to the task, including a child who is more willing to consult with their siblings before making decisions. Another option some people choose is to name all children to serve together, but many times it may not be possible for multiple children to come to a unanimous decisions.

Special considerations may also be made when considering the distribution of assets. For example, in some cases a parent might loan a child money. If the money was truly a loan, and not a gift, the amount could be deducted from their overall inheritance. Even though the distribution of the estate would not be equal in this circumstance, it would still be fair.

Family dynamics can have a significant impact on the estate administration and probate process. Estate planning professionals often advise those going through the process to take such matters into consideration when creating their plan. By doing so, people in Texas can help surviving family members avoid conflict and stress during a time that should be devoted to coping with grief.

Source: fdlreporter.com, "Easing the Burden: Family dynamics should be considered in estate planning", Isabell Mueller, Oct. 27, 2016

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