While many people may understand that estate planning helps their loved ones understand their end-of-life wishes, they may have less knowledge on how estate plans play into certain legal proceedings. For instance, probate is a legal process through which estates must go in order to validate wills, attend to debts and distribute assets. However, complications can easily arise for surviving family during this process.

In order to help loved ones better avoid unnecessary conflicts, Texas residents may want to ensure that their estate plans reflect the correct information. Because estate plans are often created while individuals still have years, if not decades, left the live, many life changes can take place during that time. Therefore, if parties do not review and update their plans — beneficiaries in particular — complications could come about later.

When it comes to beneficiaries, many people have specific loved ones in mind to whom they would like to bequeath assets. However, individuals may die, new family members may be born or other relationship changes may occur that could warrant an estate plan update. If these updates are not made, outdated information may delay probate proceedings or cause conflict between surviving family.

Periodically updating an estate plan can help give individuals a greater peace of mind in knowing that the right information is being provided for their end-of-life wishes. Additionally, these updates can act as a safeguard for surviving loved ones when it comes time for probate. If Texas residents have questions regarding probate and updating estate plans, they may wish to consult with knowledgeable attorneys.

Source: wtop.com, “7 common mistakes to avoid when naming your beneficiaries“, Nina Mitchell, Feb. 21, 2018