Texas Estate Planning Law: The Basics
What is estate planning?
The concept of estate plans and estate planning as a discipline is very broad in the sense that it can encompass everything from the making of a simple Will to a complex set of documents that are designed to shelter assets. Its a very comprehensive concept in the sense that its all directed toward an end-of-life continuation of the ownership and management and maintenance of property.
Does everyone need an estate plan?
Most people think of estate plans in much larger terms than what they actually are. My definition of an estate plan is to make plans for the disposition of ones estate and ones money and property at the end of ones life. So, within that context, I would say that everyone needs an estate plan. Everybody should have a plan for how the ownership and maintenance and management of their property are going to continue after they die.
What happens if someone doesnt have a Texas estate plan?
The Texas legislature has developed a plan under the statutes of intestate succession. Thats where a person dies without a Will and without any other provision for the continued ownership and maintenance and management of property after the death. The problem with that is, while it does provide for the transfer of ownership of this property to the individuals heirs-at-law, its expensive to administer and is not always consistent with the decedents wishes.
The whole idea of preparing an estate plan of planning for the continuation of the ownership and maintenance and management of property after ones death is to streamline and avoid unnecessary costs and create an orderly transfer of control of the property to whomever the decedent chooses to have that control, management and ownership.
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