Taking on the role of an estate executor may sound like an honor, but many in Texas soon learn that the job is far from glorious. While it is certainly humbling to find one trustworthy enough to handle one's final wishes, it is also time-consuming and can be frustrating. In addition, by taking on this responsibility, an estate executor may also face legal challenges regarding some of the common probate mistakes.
Estate planning is an increasingly common practice among Texas residents and others around the country. More people are coming to the realization that planning for the future is not limited to the wealthiest investors. The goal for many when developing a plan is to ensure that their heirs can avoid the probate process. By doing this, most hope to save both time and money. Financial experts recently discussed a method to minimize the time for probate.
As one ages, mortality becomes an important issue. The individual often begins to consider what will happen with and to loved ones upon his or her death. Furthermore, the Texas resident usually addresses the inheritance that each of these loved ones should receive as a part of the estate planning process. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood parts of the estate planning process is probate.
Many people in Texas are motivated to begin their estate planning after they experience the death of a loved one. Having to go through the often frustrating process of probate may inspire some to spare their own heirs the complications and the sometimes prolonged wait before they receive their inheritance. However, with proper planning, there are several types of assets that can bypass probate relatively easily and go directly to the beneficiary.
Many Texas residents believe that a simple will is sufficient to ensure that their wishes will be honored after their passing. However, estates often land in the probate process when a will is disputed. This process is very time-consuming and can be very costly. Experts offer some suggestions to help one's heirs potentially avoid probate litigation.
Many Texas residents have individual retirement accounts as part of their investment portfolios. IRAs are attractive to investors due to beneficial tax considerations. However, investors should be aware of tax rules when including an IRA in their estate. A recent ruling by the U.S. Tax Court details a complicated case involving an IRA involved in probate litigation.
Another near catastrophe in the saga of the estate of deceased superstar Prince has emerged. The probate procedures in that litigious estate will generally be the same as they would be in Texas, so that The estate administration problems regarding Prince's estate can be instructive. The problems are all because Prince did not engage in estate planning and did not even make a will to guide the disposition of his assets.
Probate of a will in Texas may lead to a will contest when the will is challenged by those who believe that they have a better right to collect from the decedent's estate. A will contest is often based on a claim of undue influence, which asserts that the beneficiary took advantage of a position of power over the person to get that individual to consent to disposing of property in a way that was not a product of a free exercise of his or her own will. The presentation of the will for probate is the appropriate time to challenge its validity.
Often the key to comprehensive estate planning is knowing where the function of one document ends and another begins. For example, what can a trust do as opposed to a will? You can have both, but what are their specific functions?