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Property division an important part of estate planning

Life is full of decisions. When it comes to estate planning in Texas, parents are often left making decisions that seem unfair. However, depending on individual circumstances, simply leaving everything to split evenly between children can be problematic.

For example, one mother divided her property equally between all of her children. However, one of her children had special needs and was living in a group home for people who qualify for Medicaid. As part of the program he was in, he also worked a special job in the community. However, the inheritance he received upon his mother's death disqualified him from receiving Medicaid, meaning he was facing eviction from the group home.

While the family was eventually able to convince a judge to agree to a redistribution of the estate, the ramifications for the man and his siblings could have been devastating. However, there are other options that could have both provided for the man without jeopardizing his government benefits. For example, the mother could have set up a special trust that would have provided for the man and would have passed to his family or a charity upon his death.

To some people, estate planning in Texas means creating a do-it-yourself will. While this may seem appealing and less expensive in the short term, it can have long-term consequences. Without the guidance of an experienced attorney, a person can overlook important factors in regard to the distribution of his or her estate. Careful planning can help ensure that all family members are treated fairly, even if that does not mean equal treatment.

Source: hdnews.net, "Planning for distribution of property", Randy Clinkscales, Nov. 21, 2016

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