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Livens & Reed, PLLC

Posts tagged "Estate planning"

Estate planning is about more than asset distribution

Most people in Texas are aware of the importance of creating a plan for the future. Many people have the misconception that estate planning is only for the time following their death and will determine how their assets will be distributed. However, a comprehensive estate plan also focuses on a time when someone is unable to make financial and medical decisions on their own due to an illness or injury.

Debunking myths surrounding estate planning

If asked, most people would state that they recognize the importance of planning for the future. For many, this would include the estate planning process. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions regarding the process that could skew how people in Texas and across the country view it.

Asset protection and elder financial abuse

People today are living longer than ever, which is wonderful, but also means that they need their savings to stretch further than before. While many seniors feel comfortable with their finances, there are those who want to take advantage of them and will go to great lengths to steal seniors' money, even when they are related to the victim. Worse still is that around a third of seniors don't know how to report the abuse, even when they recognize it. Experts say there are ways for financial advisors and others to pick up on potential elder financial abuse. Asset protection is vital for seniors in Texas and across the country who want to be certain that their assets last them through the end of their life.

Gift giving as part of estate planning

When people in Texas plan for a future in which they may no longer be present, they often have multiple decisions to make. Ultimately, the decisions that they make could impact how much of their estate their loved ones will have to enjoy. Because most everyone wants to ensure that the maximum amount of their estate goes to the intended recipient, those making such plans often consider whether gift giving in advance of their death is a necessary part of estate planning.

Including pets as part of the estate planning process

Families in Texas and across the country can have a variety of different compositions. In fact, some families may count more than humans as members of their family. For many, the family pet is a member of the family whose owners want to ensure is protected even when they are not around to do so. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken in the estate planning process that can help ensure this.

Is it necessary to have a will if there is a trust?

Many people in Texas go to great lengths to make plans for the future, even including planning for a future in which they may no longer be present. Often, this includes the creation of important estate planning documents, including a trust. However, some people may be confused about whether they need a will in addition to a trust. 

Estate planning is essential after Alzheimer's diagnosis

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, debilitating form of dementia that affects millions of people in Texas and the rest of the country. It is a horrific diagnosis to hear about, for the patient as well as family members. While certainly one's attention should be given to treatment of the disease and how to keep it at bay, a person's plans for care and finances also need to be addressed. Experts highly recommend going through the estate planning process to formalize these directives while able to do so.

Transfer on death accounts can be useful in estate planning

National surveys show that over 55% of adults in Texas and elsewhere around the country do not have a will or trust in place. Without these documents, many families find themselves in probate court after the loss of a loved one. Furthermore, having a will alone does not necessarily keep family members out of probate. This could lead to unwanted conflict and potential legal battles. However, with thoughtful estate planning and the establishment of certain accounts, this strife can likely be avoided.

Living trusts can help achieve many estate planning goals

The many tools available for estate planning can help ensure that each Texas resident has the opportunity to create his or her plan according to specific wishes. Of course, these many tools can also seem overwhelming to individuals who may not know much about estate planning. Fortunately, information is available on the uses of planning options, including living trusts.

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