The Livens Law Firm

Making a will involves important and vital preparations

It seems that the reason that more than half of Americans, including those residing in Texas, don't have a will is because people do not like to think about death. People also have a tendency to view themselves as immortal. That tendency, however, is not amusing or tolerable when a family ends up having to spend substantial funds and engage in a great amount of work to clear up the problems left in the wake of a loved one who passed without having prepared a will.

It is best to put a plan in place for several reasons, not the least of which is the desire to assure a smooth transition for those who are left here to cope and to grieve. Putting a plan in place can ensure that your assets are properly handled and family members are taken care of should something happen. Once the decision is made to make this conscientious effort to protect one's loved ones, there are other principles to observe.

Despite what rumors may exist, it is clear that it is better to prepare an estate plane in one's 30s or as close thereto as possible. This is just common sense – long-term preparation allows for greater wealth buildup and for more options as time goes by. Once it has been done, then a person must tickle the date to go back and update the papers periodically. This includes checking the beneficiaries and replacing some where there have been deaths or changing preferences.

It is important to leave detailed and clear instructions to family members or friends for their convenience in knowing what to do to get all of the information in order. Today, a testator must prepare a list of all online accounts and assets along with those that are in more traditional accounts. Texas laws are friendlier to those who take the time to make a will that is clearly expressed and legally valid. Those families that may have been inconvenienced by the problem of no will can likely attest to why making one is a smart thing to do.

Source: kiplinger.com, "5 Tips to Start Your Estate Planning Today-Kiplinger", Taylor Schulte, June 22, 2016

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