There are many reasons why Texans might avoid or delay estate planning, ranging from apprehension about death to busy schedules. Some individuals mistakenly assume that their estates are not large enough to warrant estate planning. However, avoiding or neglecting estate planning and related legal issues can have significant ramifications for individuals and their heirs.
Estate planning is about more than distributing assets after death; it also involves ensuring that an individual's last wishes relative to his or her own health and financial well-being are implemented. For that reason, a solid estate plan will generally include a will, a health care proxy or "living will," and medical and financial powers of attorney. The living will sets forth the individual's wishes relative to end-of-life care while the powers of attorney allow the individual to select and guide the individuals who will make medical and financial decisions for them if they are permanently or temporarily incapacitated.