Avoid ‘do it yourself’ estate planning in Texas

El Paso readers, like most, like to save money by doing things themselves. But there are a few things that it might be worth spending money for a professional to handle instead of trying to do it yourself. Estate planning is one of those things.

Drafting estate planning documents is important, and there are too many mistakes that can be made if you are not well-versed in this type of law. Having a professional who knows the difference between wills and living trusts, guardianships and conservatorships, and other complicated estate planning issues can ensure that your will or trusts meet your needs and final wishes. Also, different states may have different laws that could affect how you plan asset distribution.

If you move to a new state, you should have your estate planning documents reviewed to ensure they meet the new state laws and, thus, will still be upheld. Some things that you may want to pay attention to when it comes to different state laws are: asset protection, state taxes on property and assets, and whether your state is a community property state like Texas or an equitable distribution state. These things could have an impact on how you draw up your wills and trusts. Existing documents may need revisions.

You should also know the difference between a will and a living trust, so you can decide which would be best for you. While either a will or a living trust can be used for assigning or transferring property or assets, if you need to assign a guardian to minor children or dependents, you will need to do this through a will. If you are concerned about your assets and want to have them managed while you are still alive, in the event you become disabled for instance, you can use a living trust.

Source:Forbes, “Moving To A New State: How To Put Down Financial Roots” Deborah L. Jacobs, Mar. 19, 2014