One of the greatest gifts in the world can also be the most costly in terms of taxes and the IRS. If one is the heir of a baby boomer in Texas, chances are his or her benefactor may have been saving a bundle in IRAs and employer sponsored accounts toward an inheritance. Over a lifetime, baby boomers reduced their tax bills using these plans, and an estimated $30 trillion in wealth will be handed down over the next 30 to 40 years.
Estate planning is a major concern for many Texas residents and others around the country. Often, the goal for most individuals is to develop a plan that will avoid probate court. A living trust may be a viable option that provides inheritance protection for beneficiaries.
Division of assets is a critical component of a will or estate plan for Texas residents. Most individuals want to ensure that heirs are treated fairly and an inheritance is divided equitably. An estate planning expert recently offered insight on how to protect assets for future heirs and ensure that someone's intentions for distribution are respected.
Many families in Texas avoid conversations about old age and death. While it is certainly not a subject on which to dwell, certain discussions are necessary. Heirs often find it difficult to locate statements, settle accounts and more because a deceased loved one's finances were not discussed. Silence about inheritances can also lead to contention between beneficiaries down the line.
Advancing technology has changed many aspects of daily life. The way people in Texas work, learn, shop and entertain themselves have all been altered by the internet. Because use of the internet may place a person's privacy and safety at risk, laws were made to protect people's online accounts from intruders. Unfortunately, those same laws may cause frustration for fiduciaries and beneficiaries if access to them is not granted before a person dies.
The federal government estimates that 70 percent of persons 65 and older will need help with daily activities during their later years. Despite that figure, other reports indicate that over one-third of people 40 and over have done nothing to prepare for the time when they may need such care. Generally, people throughout the country, including here in Texas, are lacking the confidence that they will be able to pay for long-term care needs, and they have in a sense blocked the subject from their consciousness.
Many older people will someday have to confront the issue of living accommodations. If staying in the marital residence is not a feasible option, some alternative housing choice will have to be made. This is ideally a joint effort between the elderly parent, or the elderly couple, and their children. In Texas and all other states, the good news is that the choices for post-retirement living are greatly expanded and take in a wide variety of lifestyles and assisted living options, but elderly planning should be done in advance of the time when there is an immediate need.