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Common misconceptions in estate planning

When people think of a will, they may get uncomfortable. This is understandable, as it is not pleasant to consider the end of one's life. However, it is a very important subject for Texas families to consider. There are several incorrect beliefs that people often have in regard to estate planning, but experts say that it is vital that people understand exactly how important having one in place can be for a person and his or her loved ones.

Many people believe that if they are not wealthy, they do not need to have a will. Experts point out that it is likely that most people have some assets, such as a home or small bank account. It is important to ensure that those assets are bequeathed to someone of that person's choosing. A will can even dictate who would care for the person's children, or how that person would like his or her remains to be managed after death.

Some people have an estate plan, but they don't bother to update it, because their family hasn't changed. Experts say that this is another error, because laws can change as well as certain circumstances that the person might not consider. Some young people may have originally named their parents as beneficiaries or fiduciaries, which may not be the best choice as their parents get older.

Experts also warn against failing to update beneficiary forms. Many people assume that having a will is enough in this case. A will may cover personal assets, but beneficiary forms tell how to handle larger assets such as a life insurance policy or a retirement account. Beneficiary forms override a will, so it is important for people to ensure that the two documents match.

Any Texas families who are unsure of how to create or manage their estate plan may find relief in the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can guide a family through the entire process of estate planning. It is the best way to make sure that one's final wishes are honored.

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