The Livens Law Firm

Developing a will helps surviving family members

When it comes to talking about creating a will, many people in Texas may shy away from the subject and prefer to talk about more lighthearted topics. Putting together a will, however, is essential for making sure that one's earthly possessions are passed on to the right individuals when one dies. It also helps to prevent discord among surviving family members -- discord that can alter family relationships permanently.

Research shows that more than half of people don't have a will. In addition to directing family and friends on how to distribute one's personal items in the event of one's death, it can also provide hope and encouragement. It is also wise to create a health care power of attorney, a document that spells out who can make health care decisions on a person's behalf if the person can't communicate on his or her own.

During the estate planning process, it is also wise to check the beneficiaries listed on retirement accounts, life insurance and brokerage accounts. This is important because all of these accounts can bypass wills. It is helpful to keep these beneficiaries current and make sure that an ex-spouse isn't listed as one of them if this is not a person's intent.

When a person dies, his or her family naturally are grieved in Texas. Having a will in place can actually provide comfort to the bereaved. This is because the family can clearly understand what the deceased loved one would have desired and thus can honor his or her wishes.

Source: wabi.tv, "Finance is Fun: Estate Planning", Allison Arbo, Aug. 19, 2014

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