The Livens Law Firm

Estate planning saves time, money and legal obstacles

There are some very practical reasons why a person residing in Texas or elsewhere in the country should have an estate plan. Without a will or trust at death, for example, there are some very negative consequences that one's loved ones may be compelled to endure. The lack of estate planning puts one's heirs at the mercy of the intestate laws of the state where one resides at death.

For one thing, one's family members will likely be compelled to incur added attorneys and court fees. Getting an estate started may be more complex without a will appointing the preferred personal representative. Family members may argue over who shall do it, or in some cases, they may all opt out and force additional expenses for the appointment of an administrator. A good way to cause stress and frustration to loved ones that were intended to receive one's assets is to forget to make a will or trust that will get the assets clearly and safely into their hands.

In some instances, family members who are not favored will stand in and take charge of an estate not having the benefit of a will. It may be that the decedent was estranged from family and wanted a friend or charities to get the assets. The latter prospect will not happen if not clearly set forth in a will.

Of course, the will is not the only legal instrument that should be crafted into an estate plan by a Texas resident. There is the all-important personal power of attorney, and the health care directives, among other items. The power of attorney may save substantial funds to the estate, while the heath care directives simply give a person more power to have a designated spokesperson communicate one's wishes to the medical providers. To learn the plan that is best for you under the circumstances, it is best to see an estate planning attorney for a consultation on these matters.

Source: forbes.com, "The Difference Between Having An Estate Plan And A Wealth Transfer Plan", Michael Chamberlain, July 18, 2016

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