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Estate planning updates necessary during major life changes

When it comes to juggling all of a person's modern-day responsibilities in Texas, making plans that affect one's final wishes often end up low on the priority list. Part of the reason for this is because people prefer not to discuss the possibility of death. Another reason is that people consider it to be too complicated of a process. With legal guidance, however, people can complete estate planning and also keep their plans updated.

An important time to review and update an estate plan is when one has given birth to or adopted a child. A new addition to the family ideally should trigger an estate plan review. This is necessary to make sure that the new addition is deemed an heir of one's estate.

Another essential time to update a plan is when an intended beneficiary or agent ends up becoming ill or disabled. Successors may have to be added so as to replace agents who suddenly cannot act on one's behalf. This includes adding or changing people to make sure that the roles of power of attorney, trustee and personal representative are filled. In addition, if one names a person to be a beneficiary of one's estate and that person ends up being disabled, giving the person assets might actually interfere with his or her eligibility to keep receiving the public benefits he or she is getting or may prevent the person from becoming eligible.

Estate planning is often considered a morbid task. However, steering clear of this process may mean that one's loved ones might not get the assets one has intended for them to receive upon one's death. Developing and updating a will ultimately allows people in Texas to control what happens to their assets posthumously in addition to ensuring that their needs are met if they end up being unable to handle their own financial affairs or make medical decisions for themselves.

Source: greenbaygazette.com, "Top 5 reasons to review your estate plan", Michael Maas, May 29, 2016

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