When closing a loved one's estate, Texas personal representatives may have an easier time completing the process if the decedent left behind an estate plan. The instructions in this plan could make settling final affairs more straightforward during probate administration. Unfortunately, if mistakes with beneficiary designations have occurred, the process could become complicated.
Mistakes with estate plans are not uncommon, but they can cause a number of different issues. From not naming beneficiaries at all to naming the wrong beneficiaries, executors may have a hard time distributing assets and recipients could also find themselves in a tough spot. For instance, if no beneficiaries were named to important accounts, like life insurance or retirement accounts, the funds from those accounts will pass to the estate or be distributed in accordance with state law.
Naming the wrong beneficiary or failing to update beneficiaries can also cause problems. An intended beneficiary needs to be named correctly and specifically on an account in order for the assets to pass directly to that person. Using a nickname, not specifying whether John Smith, Sr., or John Smith, Jr., should receive the assets, or not updating a beneficiary designation after a name change could all result in conflicts over who truly should obtain the property.
In a best-case scenario, loved ones would take the time to ensure that every aspect of their estate plans are correct and update them periodically throughout their lives. Of course, that is not always what happens. As a result, personal representatives may have a difficult time settling Texas estates through probate administration due to errors in plans. Luckily, individuals in this position can obtain professional legal help in efforts to address necessary tasks as best as possible.