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Study shows troubling number of people do not use estate planning

Many people in Texas and around the nation mistakenly believe that estate plans are only for wealthy people. The truth is that estate planning is important for everyone, no matter the amount of a person's assets. However, a recent study showed that a large number of people do not have an estate plan in place. Experts caution that this can mean may not have his or her wishes honored after passing away, and they offer simple strategies for getting started.

Experts want people to realize that without a proper estate plan, a person's assets may be subject to probate. It is a process that happens publicly and can take a great deal of time and money to complete. If one receives a challenge to his or her will during probate, it may have undesired results, such as assets not being distributed to those of the estate holder's choosing.

Though one may assume this problem is generational, experts say that's not the case. According to the survey, just over a third of both millennials and Gen Xers have discussed estate planning with a financial advisor. The number of baby boomers in that category was only slightly higher.

The survey also found that a large majority of people, at 77%, know how important it is to have a comprehensive estate plan no matter the state of one's finances. That same survey found that less than a quarter of respondents even had designated beneficiaries for various financial accounts. That, experts say, is the very first step for someone who feels uncertain regarding estate planning.

Designating beneficiaries is a relatively simple action that can have a great impact. However, creating a comprehensive estate plan is even more valuable. An attorney with experience in creating and maintaining estate plans here in Texas can be a valuable guide for those with questions.

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