Planning to whom to leave their assets is one of the most common reasons that people in Texas decide to begin the estate planning process. This effort typically includes naming specific beneficiaries in estate planning documents. In fact, these documents can be used to ensure that the wishes of the person creating the plan as to asset distribution are fully honored.
However, if a person in Texas dies without having made an estate plan, their wishes for the distribution of their estate may not be followed. In fact, state law will determine who will be the beneficiaries. In one recent case that may be of interest to our readers, that person was the first cousin of a man who died in another state.
According to a report, the man died after living alone for period of time. When officials discovered the death, they went to the man's home to clean it out. While there, they discovered more than a million dollars in gold coins. Because there were no estate planning documents in place for the man, officials sought to find his next of kin. After an extensive search, they found a first cousin living in another state who will receive the proceeds of the estate, though it is not clear if such an action was the intent of the decedent.
Making an estate plan can ensure that the assets owned by an individual go to the beneficiaries of their choice after their death. In some cases, this is a family member. However others have organizations that they wish to support. However they wish to distribute their wealth when they are gone, using estate planning tools can help achieve their goals.
Source: khou.com, "Modest-living recluse dies; millions of dollars worth of gold found in home," Feb. 26, 2013