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Costly estate planning mistakes to avoid

As with most things, a person in Texas who wants to create a will can find do-it-yourself instructions online. However, the estate planning process often encompasses more than the creation of will, and individual circumstances could warrant more than a generic template. In addition to overlooking the importance of creating other tools of such a plan, a do-it-yourself approach can result in costly delays in the administration of an estate.

A person who creates his or her own will may be able to save money in the short term. However, such an approach may overlook the long-term benefits of having a professional guide the process. For example, the person's estate may benefit from a properly funded trust which can help the estate avoid both probate and taxes.

In addition to such oversights, certain mistakes can create additional complications. Failing to update a will, for example, could cause problems. Over the years, family members will likely marry and have children. Some may have passed away while a testator's financial situation could have changed drastically from the time an estate plan was initially created. The same could be the case for certain assets, such as retirement funds or life insurance policies, that include a named beneficiary and are not subject to the terms of a will.

However, estate planning is not only about deciding how a person's assets will be divided. It often includes naming someone to make medical or financial decisions for the person should he or she become unable to do so. An attorney with experience with the estate planning process can help those in Texas protect their estate from unnecessary costs and delays as well as successful challenges.

Source: urologytimes.modernmedicine.com, "Estate planning: Don't make these mistakes", Joel M. Blau and Ronald J. Paprocki, Dec. 1, 2016

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