The Livens Law Firm

August 2015 Archives

Some women may need earlier estate planning due to many factors

Many American women face a greater retirement savings crisis than men. The retirement savings shortfalls for those on the verge of retirement is roughly double for women as opposed to men, according to a nonpartisan research organization. In fact, poverty in old age is looking more like a woman's problem due to pay disparities, greater life expectancy, higher health care costs and large numbers of divorced and widowed women living alone. These are all reasons why many women living in Texas and elsewhere should engage in an estate planning program even earlier than is usually foreseen.

Estate administration requires a step-by-step legal procedure

It is always difficult after losing a beloved family member to focus on administering the loved one's estate. Assuming that the decedent has died leaving assets in his or her name, then those assets will have to be administered through a process known as estate administration. In the ideal case in Texas and elsewhere, the decedent will have left an updated will specifying the disposition of his or her assets after death.

Singer's estate planning was not adjusted to meet changing need

In Texas and elsewhere, it is important to be thorough in one's estate plan, and to regularly review it for necessary revisions. For example, the arguably insufficient plan of deceased singing star Whitney Houston demonstrates some potential pitfalls of not being thorough and of not reviewing it regularly. In 1993, Houston executed a will leaving everything to her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Unfortunately, the daughter died recently at age 22, apparently leaving no immediate family except for her father, Bobby Brown, who was estranged and divorced from Houston.  This scenario raises potential dilemmas and poses questions about a better way of handling estate planning under similar facts.

Estate planning requires an annual checkup for any changes

An estate plan should be given a routine checkup each year. This is done through a meeting or other collaboration between the estate planning professional and the client. This is a procedure that is universally recommended, both here in Texas and in all other jurisdictions.

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