Ask anyone in financial planning, and one aspect that they will always cover has to do with what happens after a person passes away. This is because financial planning doesn’t just end with a person’s life. There’s no question that a person should plan for their entire life’s expenses, including retirement. But people generally don’t live entirely alone. They have spouses, family members, children, and further generations as time goes by. Even middle-aged folks have a life partner, spouse, or children who depend on their ability to generate income every year. This is particularly relevant in single-income households. So estate planning and having a will is just as much an integral part of financial planning as is earning more income and investing wisely.
However, the will and estate planning side of things is predominantly dictated by the law and legal requirements, not financial instruments. The first of which is the probate process. This is where the court decides how a person’s estate (their assets, property and liabilities) will be distributed after death. The court recognizes that people leave instructions which is in the form of a will and other estate planning tools. However, where things are ambiguous or unplanned altogether, then the court will decide the disposition, which isn’t always in the best interest of one’s family or those left behind.
To avoid this problem above, the best approach is to plan ahead and put in place the tools needed to ensure that one’s estate goes where it needs to go when the person passes away. This should apply either in an accident, unforeseen event or simply in old age, irregardless of the circumstances. And different tools have different effects. For example, a will can lay out instructions, but the court still approves the final will and its execution. A trust, on the other hand, can move property privately from an estate to a beneficiary, and the court probate process does not get involved. Both deal with property left behind, but in different ways with different benefits.
For those who want to get started with estate planning or just need a will to be updated in the Greater Houston area, the person to call is Jack Mixa. His offices regularly handle and prepare dozens of wills and estate planning needs on a regular basis. That experience can identify loopholes and critical issues for specific family needs, which is why Mr. Mixa’s experience is so beneficial. Contact his offices today to find out more.