Experienced Texas Attorney Explains Why Every Adult Should Have A Will
Every adult should have a will, power of attorney for medical and/or financial matters, and an advance directive. Usually a person’s spouse is named in some or all of these documents. Divorce severs some of those designations, but not all. It is important to talk to an attorney about updating all these documents soon after divorce, marriage, a move from one state to another, or the birth or adoption of a child.
It is an act of kindness to your family members to have these documents in place. If there is no will, the probate process is complicated and made more expensive by the need for a ad litem. If there is no power of attorney, there arises a need for a guardianship, which will require attorneys, an ad litem, and hearings. And an Advance Directive can be a tremendous comfort to family members struggling with the decision to terminate life support in a hospital.
In a partnership in which the partners are not legally married or the marriage isn’t recognized here, it is extra important to have a power of attorney to designate the person to make medical and financial decisions. Otherwise, your partner may be shut out in favor of blood relatives.
In some cases, these documents are used to exclude someone – eg don’t let my brother make medical decisions for me under any circumstance.
Each state has its own laws relating to wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives. Documents available over the internet may not be valid in all states. It is a much smarter choice to consult a lawyer who can advise you on the law in Texas and what will help in your specific situation.
It is simple and relatively inexpensive to have these documents done, and it is an act of love for your family members. Maybe it is even the gift you give them for Christmas.