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Wills are useful for young couples and those of modest means

Many people in Texas and elsewhere have the misconception that because they are young they do not need a will. Young parents, however, may greatly benefit from having in their wills the designation of who should take care of their children if they have both died. The fact that this does not happen often does not dismiss the need and wisdom to prepare for such an event.

By preparing the foregoing clause, a lot of potential trouble will be prevented. This may include the need for court-appointed guardians and even the prospect of inter-family battles for custody of the children. Another important misconception that people have is that they do not need a will if they are not rich.

That is far off the mark. Even a family of modest economic means must set up provisions for the children, as mentioned above. Even without that factor, the number of assets that one will have at death is largely unknown. It is better to have a plan in effect and in writing so that the disposition of one's assets will not be handled in a haphazard manner.

In addition, wills are very helpful in disposing of personal effects. It often happens that the cash funds in an estate are not contested, but that fight break out over the disposition of personal items that have sentimental value. This may include jewelry, guns, pictures and such personal property. A will is a necessary backup in that respect even if payable on death transfers are in effect. That may simply be because certain assets have not been covered.

In Texas and elsewhere, the transfer of personal property through wills is a stabilizing influence that helps families to move forward after the death of a loved one. The provisions for children are always a welcome assistance to those who are left behind and are not sure what the decedent would have wanted. The facilitation of family understanding and the prevention of misunderstanding is a substantial value in itself.

Source: paulsvalleydailydemocrat.com, "More on estate planning myths", March 1, 2017

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