When a person dies in Texas, his or her will provides for appointment of an executor to handle the estate's administration. If there was no will, the statutory law of Texas designates persons who may qualify as an administrator of the estate. An executor or administrator will have to take certain steps and perform certain duties to properly administer the estate. Both executors and administrators may be generically referred to as the personal representative of the estate.
In Texas and all other states, term life insurance can serve a number of uses for estate-planning purposes. Life insurance generally does not go through probate but passes directly to the named beneficiary. In the event that there is no named beneficiary, the proceeds will go to the estate by default and the funds will be subject to probate. In that instance, the life insurance proceeds will be counted as part of the gross estate of the decedent.
In Texas and all other states, the extensive use of online services by the average person has led to a need for the estate of a deceased person to be able to access that person’s online digital assets. That need has given birth to organizations concerned with addressing the issue. Just recently, a lawyers’ commission completed and introduced the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. When a person dies and probate is forthcoming, the passage of this or similar legislation will provide a framework to guide the estate’s personal representative with respect to the decedent’s digital assets.
Estate planning can ensure accurate distribution of assets among one's beneficiaries. It's vital for Texas residents to be aware of estate tax. Grantors may be able to avoid estate tax through giving.
An estate owner can opt out of portability election. There are certain ways in which to carry this act out. In an instance where a tax return for an estate is not required, it will be considered as a choice to not participate in portability election under a specified Internal Revenue Code. If an estate tax return is filed, then the Texas executor must submit a confirmatory statement to remove portability election.
There are two different types of estate taxes, which are federal and state taxes. In most cases, Texas beneficiaries are able to sidestep estate tax on a federal and state level. However, those in other areas face states taxes of up to 19 percent.
Estate administration can be a complicated and contentious matter if a person's end-of-life documents are not in order. This is especially true when documents such as separate wills contradict each other.