When individuals say that they are thinking about death, others may feel concerned or alarmed. However, it may be beneficial for Texas residents to think about death in terms of estate planning. It is likely to be an emotional experience, but creating plans could help surviving family members understand an individual's wishes for their end-of-life arrangements.
An estate plan could also help parties ensure that their assets are distributed as desired. If there is no plan in place, state laws of intestacy will determine who is entitled to assets, and in addition, family members may have to deal with taxes or other expenses that were unexpected. Estate plans could help families avoid unnecessary stress and hardships in the wake of an already emotionally difficult time.
There are many decisions to be made when a loved one dies, and those choices may seem insurmountable if the decedent's wishes were unknown. Luckily, individuals can make funeral arrangements, appoint trusted individuals as power of attorney agents and handle necessary paperwork well ahead of time so that their families do not have to rush through the process and/or doubt themselves. By having the family aware of the plans and how they should be carried out, there may be less stress on everyone involved.
Putting off estate planning may allow Texas residents to forgo dealing with uncomfortable emotions surrounding the idea of their deaths, but in the long run, not having a plan in place could be damaging. Individuals likely do not want to make any situation more difficult on their loved ones, especially during their time of grief. Therefore, interested parties may wish to discuss their options with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Source: Forbes, "What Every Estate Planning Lawyer Wants You To Know About Death And Dying", Jeena Cho, June 13, 2016