We were shocked to see that Aretha Franklin, an incredibly talented singer and a person who has certainly earned a lot of money during her lifetime, died without a will. The technical term for dying without a will is that she died intestate. When someone dies without a will, the laws of the state in which the deceased resided will likely be what determines how their assets pass and who will be in charge of making sure that deceased’s debts are paid and remaining assets distributed. In Texas, this process
Our local probate court regularly appoints me to serve as an attorney ad litem in guardianship cases. I normally see cases in which a family member is forced to seek to become the legal guardian for a parent who has become ill or infirm and is unable to care for themselves or take care of the business of daily life. That’s where I come in, as the court-appointed representative of the ill or infirm person, who is often suffering from dementia.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. A little
What will you do if a parent or other loved one is diagnosed with a disease, like Alzheimer’s, that will destroy that person’s ability to make decisions? Who will make medical decisions for your mom, if she didn’t sign a medical power of attorney? Who will sign the necessary paperwork if dad must be moved into a memory care facility, if he didn’t sign a statutory durable power of attorney? What will happen to your parents’ estate if they didn’t sign wills?
If this situation arises, you need to act quickly.