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Seguin Estate Planning Law Blog

Estate planning benefits can start before death

It is not unusual for some Texas residents to feel hesitant when it comes to considering their end-of-life wishes. Whether it is because they prefer to live in the moment or because they do not want to think about their eventual demise, avoiding the topic of estate planning may not be wise. Without useful documents in place, individuals could place themselves and their families in difficult positions.

Estate plans can offer many benefits, and a person does not have to die in order for those benefits to show themselves. For example, certain documents included in a plan could indicate who should make financial and health care-related decisions for a person should he or she become incapacitated. With the various planning tools available, parties could make their wishes known in as detailed a manner as desired.

Probate does not have to be an intimidating process

Many life events can sometimes come marked with a legal process. When Texas residents experience the death of a loved one, that person's estate may need to go through the legal process known as probate. Though this procedure is relatively common, many people may not understand why it is necessary or what occurs during the proceedings.

With probate, a deceased person's will is validated by the court, if a will exists. After validation occurs, many steps must be taken to properly close the estate. One of the biggest concerns during this time is property distribution. Assets that did not have a direct beneficiary or pay-on-death designation will likely need to go through probate. These items are known as probate assets and are often distributed by the terms of the will.

Power of attorney appointment may bolster long-term care planning

Texas residents need various amounts of care throughout their lives. As individuals reach their elderly years, the need for care may become as important as it was when they were young children. However, receiving care as an adult can often prove more difficult and expensive. Luckily, long\-term care planning could help get financial affairs in order as well as appoint trusted individuals to important decision-making positions.

Power of attorney agents are often an important part of long-term care planning. Appointing an individual or individuals to make medical and financial decisions in the event of incapacitation could help parties feel more at ease. Additionally, planning ahead could help an appointed care agent feel more comfortable with her or her role as well.

Don't forget long-term care planning when considering the future

Thinking about the needs that may come about during their elderly years may be something that more Texas residents have begun doing. As a result, they may review their estate planning options and work to determine what type of plan may best suit their needs and the needs of their families. However, individuals may want to remember to include long\-term care planning.

Most people will likely need some form of long-term care as they grow older. Because this care can easily prove expensive, planning ahead could have immense benefits. In terms of cost, the type of care and location of care could play a significant part in how much money a person may need to spend. In reality, however, most options can leave unprepared parties hurting financially.

Prince estate administration still facing issues

Though a considerable amount of time may have passed since a loved one's death, surviving family and heirs could still face considerable estate-related issues. In some cases, estate administration may not be going as smoothly as hoped, and individuals in charge of the administration may not make decisions that surviving Texas family members feel are appropriate. As a result, serious issues could come about.

Though over a year and a half has gone by since the death of musical artist Prince, his estate is still going through choppy waters. It was recently reported that three heirs to the estate believe that the current administrator is costing the estate millions of dollars and making decisions that do not benefit the estate. As a result, the heirs have petitioned the probate judge to remove the administrator, Comerica Bank and Trust, from the position.

Estate planning can help address specific desires

Many Texas residents know that having a plan for potential situations can help address those events more easily. When it comes to end-of-life wishes, early estate planning could better ensure that surviving family are not left floundering when it comes to taking care of various estate-related proceedings. Creating a will can often provide useful information that allows the process of closing the estate to go more smoothly.

When considering what to include in a will, one of the key details is who should act as executor. The executor of the estate has many responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that the probate process is completed and that a person's wishes are followed. Therefore, if individuals want to have a specific person take on these responsibilities, they may wish to name their executors in their wills.

Estate planning goes beyond monetary value

Families often create histories, and when a loved one dies, survivors may be eager to preserve those histories. While many in Texas may focus their estate planning on larger assets such as bank accounts and real estate, some heirs are more interested in those items of sentimental value. Legal experts recommend that those preparing their wills look beyond the obvious to those items that may cause conflict between heirs.

It may not be monetary value that interests one's heirs. In fact, many attorneys have seen families argue over relatively worthless items that carry great sentimental value, such as recipes or Christmas ornaments. One way to prevent many of these disputes is for those planning their estates to ask potential heirs for lists of items they would want to receive as an inheritance. A will is a good place to include those bequests, along with pictures for clarification.

Long-term care planning may help as care costs increase

Though thinking about becoming incapacitated at some point in life may not be a favorite topic, it may be one worth considering. If Texas residents do not give thought to the possibility of needing a nursing home stay or other similar care, they may miss out on their chance for long\-term care planning. Without proper plans, individuals and their families may struggle with costs.

It was recently reported that the costs associated with long-term care are increasing. If parties are interested in having a private nursing home room in the event that they need long-term care, they may soon need to be prepared to dish out $100,000 per year. The average cost of care for various types of services increased 4.5 percent in 2017, which is reportedly the second highest increase in the last 13 years.

Sons of Jerry Lewis lose out on inheritance after exclusion

Estate planning can often allow surviving families to feel more at ease when it comes to closing a recently deceased loved one's estate. They will better understand what the person wanted in terms of how to distribute assets and a variety of other estate-related issues. Of course, some terms of an estate plan could come as a shock to those who lose out on an inheritance.

Texas residents may be interested in the will of late entertainer Jerry Lewis. Lewis died last month at the age of 91, and details regarding his will were recently released. Reports stated that Lewis disinherited all six children from his first marriage. Rather than simply leaving their names from the will entirely, he apparently included specific detail that his six sons and their descendants were not to receive any part of the estate.

What estate planning tools may work best for Texas residents?

When creating an estate plan, many Texas residents may not know what documents could work best for their circumstances. Because there are a variety of tools and options that could potentially be utilized, this type of confusion is understandable and not uncommon. In hopes of better narrowing down what type of estate planning methods may work best, individuals may want to assess their needs and desires.

If parties are fine with the idea of their estate going through probate, creating a will may work as the foundation of their estate plans. Individuals can use this document to name their desired executor or personal representative, and that person will have the duty of seeing that the estate moves through probate correctly. This process helps ensure that affairs are settled as they need to be.

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