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Seguin Estate Planning Law Blog

Estate planning discussions better not left until the last minute

The idea of having a serious conversation with loved ones can make many Texas readers and those elsewhere feel uncomfortable. This discomfort may be even more prominent if individuals rarely hold such conversations with family. Though a strong urge may exist to avoid serious discussion, failing to talk about estate planning could cause issues.

Though having a discussion about end-of-life wishes can seem uncomfortable, parties may want to take this step in hopes of preventing their loved ones from ending up in estate disputes later on. However, rather than blindsiding family with a discussion about asset distribution, individuals may want to give their loved ones a heads-up that this is what a family gathering may entail. If the topic comes out of nowhere, loved ones may wonder about the intention behind the discussion.

Estate planning may be worth considering for Millennials

Individuals in the Millennial generation may think that they still have a considerable amount of their lives ahead of them. While this notion may prove true for many of them, it does not mean that they should put off estate planning. This action may not have crossed the minds of a considerable number of those in this generation, but getting started sooner rather than later may be wise.

Texas residents looking to get started on their estate plans may not know exactly where to start. This feeling is understandable, and good starting points would be to simply inventory their assets, consider their loved ones and create a general idea of what should happen to these assets after death. At first, the list of assets and ideas do not have to be entirely formal.

Creating wills may help lessen conflict later

Thinking about end-of-life wishes often brings about mixed emotions. Still, Texas residents need to closely consider estate planning and creating wills so that their families will know those wishes. If parties do not make plans, state law will intervene, and a greater chance of dispute may come about.

Creating a will can go a long way in ensuring that the likelihood of conflict is lessened. However, challenges are still a possibility, and individuals may want to take extra precautions when making their plans. For instance, it is wise to carefully choose the person who will act as executor for the estate. Some individuals may think that they have to choose a close family member, but really, parties could choose professionals to act in this role to ensure that that the necessary skills are present.

Elder law information may be important when dementia sets in

Most people forget various information from time to time. In many cases, this slip of the mind is not anything to worry about. However, when this type of issue begins to affect an older family member to a serious degree, Texas residents may have reason to worry about dementia in their loved one. If so, they may also need certain elder law information.

There are many signs that could point to a person potentially being affected by Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. Often, this issue runs in families, and people with this disease in their family histories may be more likely to develop it themselves. Additionally, if individuals have suffered repeated head trauma or have certain heart conditions, they could also face a higher risk of dementia.

Celebrity deaths often highlight estate planning mistakes

When a celebrity passes away, it is common for information regarding his or her life and death to come into public light. In particular, several famous and wealthy individuals have died without having created an estate plan. Estate planning can benefit surviving family members in many ways, and without it, complications could easily result.

Aretha Franklin is the most recent celebrity to pass without having a will or trust in place. Individuals in Texas will certainly want to avoid this type of scenario as this lack of information may not bode well for their families. In particular, if parties, like Franklin, have special needs children, creating a special needs trust could prevent those children from obtaining a financial windfall that could negatively impact their ability to qualify for needed government benefits.

Texas residents may want to plan ahead for long-term care

No one is immune to the possibility of getting sick or suffering injuries. Even the most cautious person could end up in an unexpected situation that leads him or her to needing long-term care. Of course, the costs of such care are often overwhelming, and if Texas residents do not plan accordingly, their finances and options for care could end up hurting.

Nursing home and assisted living care can easily result in thousands of dollars a month in expenses. For some, an existing insurance policy can help cover these costs. However, if individuals did not set up this coverage before the need of it came about, they may be out of luck. Planning ahead can help individuals understand their insurance options and find policies that could best suit their potential needs.

Planning as a parent includes estate planning

Texas parents often have a number of responsibilities that they need to address. Most of those tasks involve caring for their children themselves, but they may also find themselves needing to consider a time when they may not be able to care for their kids. It is an unfortunate reality that parents, even new ones, can suffer incapacitating or even fatal injuries or illnesses. Because no one is immune, it is wise for parents to start estate planning.

An estate plan can help parents detail how they want many affairs handled. For instance, if a person suffers a serious medical event that leaves him or her incapacitated, the decisions regarding that parent's care should not be left up in the air. Fortunately, parents can use a health care proxy in order to have someone in charge of medical decisions, and they can also appoint a power of attorney agent to handle financial needs of the kids.

Probate issues can arise if appointed parties do not seek help

In a best case scenario, a deceased loved one will have created a comprehensive estate plan to indicate his or her wishes to a surviving Texas family. While this plan can help individuals understand what steps to take to settle affairs and complete probate, it may also mean that that several people will need to step into important roles. While these individuals can be helpful, conflict can sometimes also arise.

The biggest issue that may come about with this type of scenario is having multiple people whose jobs overlap. When this happens, there may be conflicting views at work in regard to how a certain issue should be addressed. If so, proceedings could potentially come to a halt as any disputes or problems are addressed.

Estate planning does not have to be intimidating

Many people may have a number of reasons to put off thinking about their end-of-life affairs. For some, they may feel intimidated by the estate planning process, and they are not alone. It is common for people in Texas and across the country to feel that creating an estate plan will be too hard, but fortunately, that does not have to be the case.

Estate planning can take time. After all, individuals have a considerable number of personal aspects to consider. However, when it comes to creating a will and using other planning tools, parties do not have to feel put off by the fact that they do not understand what the documents may encompass. There are several types of professionals -- such as financial planners and attorneys -- who could help interested individuals understand their circumstances and how planning tools could work for them.

Divorce may mean getting back into estate planning

People in Texas and around the world experience a variety of changes throughout their lives. Because of this reason, it is important for individuals to remember to update their estate plans. In particular, going through a divorce gives a number of reasons why jumping back into estate planning could prove vastly important.

One of the first steps a person may want to take is update his or her will. Many individuals choose to name their spouses as the executors of their estates, and after deciding to divorce, it is likely that most people do not want an ex-spouse to still hold that role. The updating of wills could also change beneficiary designations if a spouse was specifically named to inherit certain property.

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