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Texas wills: Estate planning for terminally ill patients in Texas

It can be difficult for many patients in Texas to concentrate on anything else when given the news that they have a terminal condition. Talks of wills and other estate planning documents may be the furthest thing from their minds. However, this would be the time for patients to put their wishes into writing in order to ensure their wishes are carried out when the time comes.

It is not enough to prepare a living will and a healthcare power of attorney. These documents are important to be sure, but they are not enough. Other documents such as a durable power of attorney for financial matters and a will for the disposition of a person's property can give the entire family peace of mind. Not only will the patient's finances be taken care of when the patient is no longer able to tend to them, but a will can also make sure that the family is also taken care of when the patient passes away.

For instance, a woman diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer only had a healthcare power of attorney and living will. However, she had several personal items and real estate that she wanted to leave to her children upon her death. However, she never took the next step and put those desires into writing. When she passed away, not only did her family have to deal with her passing, but they also had to deal with her affairs without any direction from her.

Without specific instructions, there is no guarantee that a person's estate will be distributed as intended. Wills, trusts and other estate planning documents can give a Texas family the instructions they need and possibly help avoid conflicts within the family. Many people believe they will have plenty of time to get their affairs in order, but sadly, this is not always the case.

Source: CNBC, Putting financial affairs in order is key, even when facing a terminal illness, Julie Halpert, Nov. 8, 2013

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