The Livens Law Firm

Will is an important part of estate planning in Texas

Creating a will might not seem fun -- it might even seem painful -- but not having a will may be even more painful for family members in Texas. This is because the lack of a will means that one's estate has to go through an administration proceeding in probate court. When that occurs, a decedent's assets are distributed by statute by the laws of intestacy. In that event, the estate's assets may not be divided as the deceased individual would have wanted.

In addition to the importance of creating a will, it is also important to update the document. The document could use updating if a person gets married, separated or divorced. In addition, one may wish to revise the will if a birth, death or relocation takes place. After relocating, it's necessary to make sure that one's estate executor and power of attorney are still able to handle these duties. When a person moves to a new state, it may be necessary to list a different estate executor who can handle the job locally.

It is wise to review one's estate plan each year to make sure that one's wishes remain up-to-date and errors are quickly corrected. Along with updating a will, beneficiary designations should also be reviewed as needed. When a divorce happens, one might choose to remove an ex-spouse as a beneficiary of a retirement account or life insurance policy and replace him or her with another individual, for example. Failure to do so means that the ex-spouse may end up getting these assets, even if one's will specifies a different beneficiary.

Other factors that are worth considering when engaging in estate planning include buying insurance for long-term care and life insurance. As part of a complete estate plan, an updated will increases a person's chances of making sure that surviving family members get the assets they are entitled to. A will essentially enables people to control what happens to what they own posthumously in Texas.

Source: redlandsdailyfacts.com, "Now's a good time to revisit estate plan", Dallas McKinnon, May 27, 2014

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