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Things to keep in mind when estate planning

A professional with many years of experience in the financial and trust fields has shared her suggestions regarding planning for the future. She has offered recommendations on best practices for estate planning and administration. Understanding what is successful and what is not when making plans for an estate is important for Texas residents and others around the country.

The expert stresses the importance of actually developing an estate plan. Failing to complete a plan could result in an estate not being distributed in the way it was intended. Once someone is deceased, the heirs would not be able to make changes in the way the estate assets are divided.

Another recommendation is to plan what needs to happen if someone becomes incapacitated. Though difficult to think about, this is critical to ensure that one's finances would be handled appropriately and used for necessary care. It is vital to make sure someone's values and intentions are understood. Detailed planning should be done to consider a variety of possible uses for estate funds in the future.

The estate planning expert warns of a potential mistake that could cause a myriad of problems. She says to never leave important documents in a safe deposit box. She recalls a situation where a woman had a comprehensive estate plan, but it was placed in her safe deposit box at her bank. Her next of kin, a niece, was told she would have to wait 40 days before gaining access to the box. The niece went ahead with funeral arrangements, but later found it was not done according to her aunt's specifications.

Texas residents can avoid mistakes in estate planning such as this by contacting an experienced attorney. A dedicated legal team familiar with the complexities of estate planning and administration is a valuable ally in ensuring assets are protected in the future. Discussing specific needs with an attorney is the first step in developing a comprehensive estate plan.

Source: montereyherald.com, "Estate planning blunders to avoid", Liza Horvath, March 18, 2017

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