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October 2013 Archives

Changes in estate tax could require review of estate plans

Since the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), many Texas residents may need to review their estate plans. The increase in the estate tax exemption may necessitate changes in an estate plan in order to ensure that a person's assets are handled in the manner in which they intend. This could be especially important for people that want to make sure their spouses have access to assets outside of a family trust.

Texas power of attorney can be as specific circumstances warrant

There could be a lot of people in Texas who believe that all estate planning documents have to do with a person's death. However, there is one document, among others, that expressly comes into play when a person becomes incapacitated or is somehow unable to make decisions on his or her own. A power of attorney, as it is called, may be as general or specific as a person needs it to be.

Texas probate: Making sure a spouse gets everything

The goal of estate planning is to ensure that everything a person owns goes to the person or people intended. Many people in Texas think about the assets that will pass through probate, but sometimes forget those assets that don't. Making sure that a spouse receives everything upon death will require looking at every asset owned, including those that are considered non-probate assets.

Living trusts may be beneficial to everyone in Texas

Most everyone in Texas knows that the central document in any estate plan is a will. A will is an effective tool to provide for family and even friends after death, but doesn't do anything for the maker should he or she become incapacitated. This is where living trusts can be helpful.

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