Estate Planning

Overview

Estate planning arranges for the transfer of an individual's estate at the time of death. An estate consists of all property owned at death before it is distributed by will, trust, or intestacy laws. An estate may contain both real property (real estate, including houses and investment properties) and personal property (all other property, including bank accounts, securities, jewelry and automobiles). Typically, the process of estate planning involves extensive consultation with a number of professional advisors, including lawyers, financial counselors, accountants and life insurance representatives.

Purpose of Estate Planning

Estate planning benefits those with large estates, as well as those with modest assets. Creating an estate plan ensures that all property will be distributed according to the personal wishes of the deceased, and that those who are benefiting from the estate receive the largest distribution possible with a minimum amount of delay. Specifically, estate planning allows an individual to decide exactly who will benefit from their estate, and to what extent. Estate planning also ensures that the estate will not be destroyed by taxes imposed on the transfer of assets at death. In addition to providing financial security, estate planning encourages individuals to make important decisions, such as appointing a guardian for minor children, choosing healthcare preferences, and securing funeral arrangements.

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  • CLE on NFA Trusts April 17, 2014 Texas Bar CLE is presenting a webcast replay entitled, National Firearms Act (NFA) Trusts, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Topics include: Professional considerations: business, ethics, and avoiding malpractice State and federal law governing NFA trusts…
  • When Does a Power of Attorney Go Into Effect? April 17, 2014 A power of attorney is a document that is used to give someone else the ability to make legally binding decisions on your behalf. The document is meant to serve your needs, and you can shape it to do just that. Incapacity Planning The type of power…
  • ATF eForms back online within the week April 17, 2014 Today Marvin G. Richardson, Deputy Assistant Director of the ATF Enforcement Programs and Services sent a letter stating that ATF eForms is expected online this week.The ATF has reduced the backlog of applications from 80,000 to 73,000.Adding 15…
  • Lodging of a Will - Probate Code §8200 April 17, 2014 When a testator passes away, i.e. a person who wrote a will, California law requires the custodian of the will to deliver such to the clerk of the superior court of the county where probate may be initiated. Probate Code §8200. For example, if…
  • Article on Teaching Trusts and Estates with King Lear April 17, 2014 Karen E. Boxx (University of Washington School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Teaching Shakespeare in the Classroom: How an Annual Student Production of King Lear Adds Dimension to Teaching Trusts and Estates, St. Louis University…