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Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?

Posted by Chris Peterson | Jun 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?

Estate planningAlthough many people think about this question from time to time, a lot of folks dismiss the idea of developing an estate plan for two reasons — they think they don't have enough money to worry about and they think they have plenty of time to do it later. Both reasons are often incorrect.

Why do I need to think about dying?

None of us is guaranteed another day. We all know this to be true, but the redundancy of daily life lulls us into a false sense of security, thinking there is plenty of time to put off estate planning. It's easy to use the excuse that no one wants to think about dying.

The truth is, if you care what will happen to your assets and the people you love after you're gone, now is the time to do your estate planning and give yourself the peace of mind that invariably comes with having a plan in place.

What if I don't have a large estate?

First, think about what will make up your estate when you die. Your estate will include everything you own as of the date of your death, including partial interests in real estate and personal property and your life insurance proceeds, if payable to your estate.

Your estate may be small today, but what if you inherit assets sooner than you expect? What if you receive a windfall from another source? The fact that your estate is currently small is not a good reason to avoid estate planning.

What if I have a non-traditional family structure?

If you have a partner who is not your spouse in the legal sense or step-children you think of as your own, proper estate planning can protect them from being excluded, or left without an inheritance. Under current Texas law, unmarried romantic partners and step-children are not entitled to an inheritance if you die without a valid will.

What is estate planning anyway, besides making a will?

Estate planning encompasses not only making or updating your last will and testament, but includes developing a comprehensive plan to carry out your wishes for the future, avoid taxes when possible and save expense and heartache down the road for your intended beneficiaries.

Let us partner with you to plan for the future

By considering the whole of your assets and liabilities, family structure, future plans and current financial situation, we recommend estate planning tools to achieve your goals, including various types of trusts and structured transfers. Make an appointment today with one of our experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning attorneys at the Peterson Law Group. Call 979-703-7014 or visit us online to get started.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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