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New Year's resolutions often include estate planning

When most people think of New Year's resolution, they think of how much time they will spend at the gym or the new diet they will attempt. However, some estate planning professionals would like people to focus on creating an appropriate plan for their estate to protect their assets and ensure that provisions are in place for loved ones. For those in Texas who have already gone through the process, resolutions may be centered more toward revising an existing plan.

A person's life is bound to change over the years, making it necessary to make changes to an estate plan. For example, a divorce, remarriage or addition of a child to the family often prompt people in Texas to re-evaluate how they want their assets to be divided upon their death. Additionally, a person may wish to change who will be making financial and medical decisions in the event he or she becomes unable to make such decisions. As time passes, relationships change, potentially prompting revisions.

Evolving family composition is not the only factor that could necessitate a change. A significant shift in a person's financial status could prompt a person to re-evaluate an estate plan. For example, a person who sees a significant increase in income or receives an inheritance may need additional tools in place, such as a trust. Additionally, laws governing estate taxes change over the years, prompting changes to the structure of an estate plan.

Some would argue that estate planning is one of the most important gifts a person can give his or her loved ones. In a time of loss, attempting to divide an estate can be stressful and can create conflict between people who would likely want nothing other than to come together and grieve. With the advice of an experienced professional, people in Texas are able to create a plan that is clear and less susceptible to a successful challenge.

Source: Forbes, "6 Reasons To Revise Your Estate Plan As Soon As Possible", Mark Eghrari, Jan. 2, 2017

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