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When should you write your will? How making a plan now will save your family

Not having an end-of-life plan could turn into a nightmare for your loved ones.

BRYAN, Texas — Wills, power of attorney, estate planning and more are what all go into what could be a nightmare if you don't have an end-of-life plan in place. Planning your loved one's legacy once they are deceased isn't an easy task.

When the end of your loved one's life is staring at you, planning for what comes after can feel like a burden. The added uncertainty and stress of the pandemic have only highlighted the need for this conversation to happen.

Rodgers, Miller, and Rodriguez is a Bryan law firm that has attorneys who specialize in end of life planning. Marie Rodriguez said having that conversation with your loved ones now is crucial. Rodriguez said if you don't have a will, now is the time to make one.

"Whether we're dealing with end of life issues or not, everyone at the age of 18 needs to be able to give some thought to the notion that we're human, and because we're human we may not always be able to make decisions for ourselves while we're alive," Rodriguez said. "Certainly I think keeping us in isolation helped people really understand how important it is to think about your loved ones."

A will is a legal document that expresses one's wishes on how they would like their property dealt with once they die. When someone in your family passes away unexpectedly, you could be left putting the pieces together and making those life-altering decisions. Having a will can wipe out that uncertainty, and starting to have that conversation now will give you that peace of mind later down the line.

Kendra Thompson said she knows about that all too well after losing her mother this year. Thompson's mother did not have a will in place and Thompson said not only was the business side of it uncertain, the loss was especially tough because Kendra was about to have a baby.

"I probably was like seven months, or eight months when I was like dealing with everything so it was stressful for me because I had to try to keep a good balance," Thompson stated.

She explained how a will would have been easier because it was just her and her sister, who had also passed. She said she wishes her family would have had a plan in place.

Now, she advises people to put one in place and add their beneficiaries so when something happens, their loved ones will have the power to make decisions.

Additionally, people should consider who they would like to make their power of attorney. This person will carry out and act on behalf of you if you can no longer be there to make decisions. 

"Essentially, the laws of intestacy is just going to say we're going to look down your bloodline and determine who gets your stuff based on blood and based on the character of your assets," Rodriguez said. "The reality is, a way to lessen stress and burden on your loved ones is to have a plan."

Don't feed into the misconception that your loved ones must be in a dire medical state to discuss these things Rodriguez said.

"Hey let's talk about it just like anything else, it can be a kitchen table or in a lawyer's office but just start the conversation."

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