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Things to consider when making a will

Sometimes the idea of estate planning can seem so confusing or even gloomy that Texas residents would rather avoid it. Unfortunately, none of us know our fate when it comes to the longevity of our life, so having a plan established is very important.

If you break up the estate planning process into some key steps, it can seem less daunting. First, it's important to know why you need a will in the first place. It essentially takes the stress off your relatives in having to decide how to split your assets. Not only that, but it also outlines what you want so that the state doesn't make those decisions for you. Finally, and likely most importantly for parents, it is a good way to explain your wishes in terms of guardianship for minors should you pass away.

Next, it's important to think about the 'who' of estate planning. As we said previously, you need to decide who will be nominated to take care of your children. You also have to consider who will inherit your assets, who will be assigned the power of attorney in order to handle your financial affairs, who will get healthcare power of attorney to advocate on your behalf and follow the wishes outlined in your living will, and who will be the executor of your estate plan.

Finally, once your will is established, it's important to keep it updated and to also keep your heirs in the loop. These steps can help ensure that there is no confusion after you pass away.

Source: CNN Money, "10 steps to painless estate planning," Martha White, Mar. 3, 2014

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