Statistics applicable to Texas and nationwide say that only half of the Baby Boomers generation have made a will. In that respect, many of us have to admit that we are sometimes “penny-wise and pound-poor.” Thus, saving the relatively modest expenses of preparing an estate plan and making a will can possibly result in unwanted consequences to our heirs.
Furthermore, there are other obstacles even more daunting than the relatively minimal expense. There is the old reliable obstacle, procrastination, and the dark void, called ‘lack of incentive,’ that also may prevent us from doing what common sense tells us to do. In the matter of preparing trusts, a will and various directives to our representative, it is far better to focus and to do it, rather than finding oneself without those protections at a later time when it may be too late.
Fortunately, there are financial advisers and estate planning attorneys who can make the process relatively painless and highly rewarding by giving one the peace of mind that comes with completing an important responsibility. The process involves deciding how to divide one’s assets among those beneficiaries who are selected, and evaluating the situation for other protections that may be necessary. If there are minor children, or adult children for that matter, not making preparations through a will and an estate plan might put part of one’s estate permanently out of their reach under certain circumstances.
Additionally, using trusts is a way of controlling the distribution to minors or other beneficiaries who should not receive their whole share all at once. Professional planners also stress time and again the importance of having a durable power of attorney in one’s estate plan. This is a simple but powerful tool to prevent unnecessary expenses and court interference in the event of future incapacitation or incompetence. Texas, like other states, also provides the authority for an individual to execute a living will and health care directives, which are designed to give one more control over future health care decisions.
Source: ky3.com, “Angie’s List: Estate planning pointers”, Ashley Reynolds, Dec. 17, 2015