Money often brings out the negative sides of people, particularly when the valuable estate of a deceased loved one is involved. Unfortunately, the emotions, time and money that surviving loved ones invest in contesting a Texas will might actually cost more than the legal document itself. At the end, not much of the estate may be left to distribute, all while family relationships are utterly destroyed. Estate planning helps to prevent family conflict and is an important task to complete while the the opportunity to do so exists.
Even though death is certain, far too many people are not prepared for it. Those who are usually most unprepared for it are those who are left behind. In addition to dealing with the grief and pain that come with the death of a loved one, they may have to deal with contentious loved ones, legal matters and insurance companies.
It makes sense to pay all outstanding taxes and debts as quickly as possible, if possible. Otherwise, beneficiaries may not get the assets intended for them if bills remain paid. Creditors will be notified about the death, and the debts of the deceased must be paid first, before distributing what remains to the beneficiaries. A last will and testament provides guidance as to how an estate is to be administered after the testator dies.
If there is no will, a judge will appoint a personal representative for the estate, and the assets will be distributed according to Texas laws of intestacy. In some circumstances, a designated heir may not want to inherit. Accordingly, it is possible to disclaim an inheritance. Comprehensive estate planning can help people to ensure that their assets will be distributed according to their wishes when they pass away.
Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Ways To Plan Your Estate", Laiza King, July 11, 2016