At McCulloch & Miller, we often speak with clients who struggle to find the motivation to begin their estate planning processes. Once we make clear to these clients just how important estate planning can be in Texas, their interest grows in getting started as soon as possible. With so much on the line, we try to emphasize to our clients that estate planning does not have to be difficult but that it is still an extremely important process that deserves their full attention.
What Is Estate Planning?
Importantly, estate planning is not only the process of creating a will. Estate planning allows you to protect your property and ensure that your assets are distributed exactly as you want them to be distributed in the event of your death. Estate planning can include drafting wills, establishing trusts, naming beneficiaries, and designating a power of attorney in case of incapacitation. Estate planning can also help you figure out how to save money on taxes, which benefits you in the present as well as your loved ones in the future.
What Happens Without an Estate Plan?
In Texas, when a person dies, his or her loved ones must go through the probate process so that a court can determine how to divide up his or her assets. Without estate planning documents on hand, this process can be costly, drawn out, and draining. The lack of a solid estate plan can also lead to high levels of tension among family members while the court tries to determine how to divide the decedent’s money and property.