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Elder Care in Houston TX Legal Issues: What Does a Will REALLY Do for Your Family?

Elder Care in Houston TX Legal Issues: What Does a Will REALLY Do for Your Family?

Frequently there is talk about ‘getting one’s affairs in order’. With poor health or aging, just when a will becomes more crucial, we are so often overwhelmed with the day-to-day necessities of care that a will is even more neglected. It is a responsibility of those in elder care to ensure that the patient expresses his wishes through a written will.Elder Care Houston TX

An Elder Care Advocate

An elder care advocate should counsel the patient regarding a will early in the relationship. Many wills have been disregarded by courts due to delay; a will may be disregarded if the patient is on certain pain medications or if the patient’s mental state is otherwise questioned.

Dying intestate (without a will) causes major hardships and additional stress on the entire family. With no legal direction and little legal standing an executor will be faced with costly delays and additional work. During these delays, bill collectors can create more stress for the family.

When There is a Death in the Family

Following a death in the family, grief and stress are natural, but while emotions are high the slightest dispute can spiral into a family feud that will split the family just when they need solidarity. Without clear and written direction as to the loved one’s wishes, disputes arise over funeral and burial arrangements as well as disposal of family treasures and keepsakes.

The most important element of control anyone has over their estate is the appointment of an executor. Someone who can be trusted to do as we would. With no will, someone will need to petition the court to become the executor. The petitioner need not even be a member of the family, but simply what the courts call a ‘person with interest’.

Most laws do not provide for those who are not natural children or current legal spouses unless there is a will which includes them. In our society of loving stepfamilies and extended families, this has caused untold and unintended grief.

Keeping it Legal Makes it Easier

When there is a legal, notarized will, things are simpler. For large estates, an attorney will generally keep a copy which can be read at the family’s request after the funeral. For a simple will, a copy may be filed at the courthouse (there is a small fee which varies according to jurisdiction) and a copy kept with other valuable papers.

With or without a will, the process of settling debt and distributing assets after a death is called ‘probate’.

If your family is looking into elder care for a senior loved one, contact At Your Side Home Care. Fill out our web form or call 832-271-1600 for more information.


Donna Wrabel, LMSW

For most of us, the word "home" evokes warm feelings of comfort, security and well-being. For older adults, home also means holding tight to cherished memories and maintaining self-esteem and independence. When illness, injury or age make life a little more challenging, remaining at home in a comfortable, familiar environment encourages recovery and enhances the quality of life. Home can be defined as a private residence, an independent or assisted living facility or even a short term stay in the hospital, we recognize the additional benefits provided by a personal, professional assistant.

Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.

Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week