Texans, protect your assets by sound estate planning

It is a common misconception is that you need to belong in a high tax bracket in order to have an estate plan. According to experts, though, everyone has something of value to leave behind. This is especially true in Texas, where not everyone owns a cattle ranch or comes from an oil-rich family.

Everyone should have a will and a plan for the property and assets they leave behind. You may not have a huge amount of money in the bank, but you do have something. Your home, vehicles, furniture, investments, pension, insurance and Social Security benefits are all part of your estate, and it is never too soon to start planning.

If you become mentally incapacitated or die, consider designating a caretaker of children and your finances.

We want our beneficiaries to enjoy a smooth transition of estate and assets, a stress-free life. Sound planning ensures children and grandchildren will be fairly treated to avoid squabbles later. Think about who you trust to manage your assets if you become disabled or pass away.

A durable power of attorney is a legal provision that can prevent your affairs from being mismanaged. You can include access to bank accounts or stocks for a spouse or child and spell out directions for selling your house.

Estate planners recommend declaring who will be your guardian should you become incapacitated. The person you select must be trustworthy and able to act in your best interests.

You may want to appoint someone for your health care power of attorney. This should be someone you trust to make important decisions for you if you are unable. This designated individual to might need to give advanced directives to physicians and reflect how you view life-sustaining care.

What we leave behind is not always represented by monetary value. We choose our legacy by not putting off decisions about estate planning but by making smart decisions while we live. In Texas, there are competent individuals who dedicate their careers to making sure you go to your final resting place at peace with the decisions you make. Seek help with your estate planning regardless of your perception of its wealth. The choices you make can affect how you will be remembered by your loved ones after you are gone.

Source:Mail Tribune, “Don’t have an estate? It still pays to plan as if you do” Pamela Yip, May. 18, 2014