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The basics of estate planning

Most people realize that they need to plan for the end of their life, but sometimes it can be difficult to start. Thinking about death isn't particularly pleasant, so it can be very easy to think of estate planning as something to do later in life, when one is older and has accumulated more assets. But avoiding estate planning can have disastrous consequences. For those here in Texas with questions, here are some estate planning basics.

How divorce can complicate estate planning

Divorce is a common part of modern life, as it can happen to anyone. It can affect multiple parts of a person's current life as well as his or her future. Though many people assume that younger married couples account for most divorces, studies show that may not be the case, as rates of divorce among older adults are rising in a phenomena commonly called "gray divorce." Gray divorce can be particularly complex as both parties attempt to determine how they will handle estate planning going forward. A recent survey among divorce and financial professionals may be of interest to Texas residents concerned about the effects of gray divorce on an estate plan.

Fake will case shows importance of estate planning

Most people here in Texas don't enjoy thinking about the end of their lives, but it is an important subject to consider. Some assume that if they are young, they don't need to worry about writing a will or estate planning, but that is untrue. Those who don't have a comprehensive estate plan may not have their assets and property distributed in accordance with their wishes, and their children may not be cared for by people of their choosing. In some cases, people may even attempt to make a fraudulent claim on a person's estate. One such case went on for several years after four people attempted to submit a fake will to claim a large inheritance that didn't belong to them.

How is estate planning affected by getting remarried?

Many people decide to get remarried after they experience divorce or the passing of their spouse. In some instances, they may want their new spouse to be the beneficiary of their estate, but for people who have children with their first spouse, they may want their children to receive some or all of the estate. Families here in Texas who want to ensure that their kids are not inadvertently left out of their will may want to heed this expert advice for estate planning after remarriage.

A will is a vital part of estate planning

Many people think that a will is only for someone with a great deal of assets. The truth is that making a thorough estate plan that includes a will is a good idea for anyone and everyone. Even for those who recognize how important a will can be, they may procrastinate or avoid creating one. Experts caution against this practice and stress that proper estate planning is necessary to ensure that a person's estate is handled in the manner that he or she wishes. Fortunately, experts also have guidance for those here in Texas and elsewhere who may be struggling with the process.

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.

Common concerns for estate planning

Creating an estate plan is an important facet of life, but many people fail to make one. Some people may mistakenly believe that if they are not rich or only have one child that it is unnecessary, but estate planning is important for people and families of all varieties. Experts say they want to clear up common misconceptions around estate plans, and the information they have to offer may be invaluable for Texas families.

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.

Estate planning errors often relate to beneficiary designation

There are many people in Texas and elsewhere who think that just creating a will is the only necessary step in estate planning. Though it is an important one, experts say that there are many aspects that people overlook throughout the process. One of the areas people tend to neglect is ensuring that beneficiaries are up to date. Experts say there are several common mistakes that people make in relation to beneficiaries in estate planning.

Karl Lagerfeld likely included his cat in his estate plan

Many people here in Texas consider pets to be like members of their family. These animals bring joy and love to their owners' lives, and many owners want their faithful companions to be well-cared for, even after the owner has passed on. Despite the sentimental attachment many people feel to their pets, legally the animals are considered property in divorce proceedings. The recent death of fashion mogul Karl Lagerfeld serves as an excellent example of why provisions need to be made for pets in an estate plan.

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