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By: Steffani F. Terrell

A Quick Summary of the Reasons Why to Have a Will in Texas

Do you own a home? A vehicle? Or any other property? Are you married? Do you have children? If you answered yes to any of those, then you likely need a Will. In fact, even if you do not own any property, there is always the chance you could inherit property from someone else. Having a Will is important because it makes the transfer of your property much simpler for the friends and family that survive you.

A Will is a legal document that outlines what you want to happen to your property when you die and who you want to carry out those instructions. When you die, your property does not automatically transfer to your family members. To transfer your assets to other people, a judge must first validate the Will through a process called probate.

In your Will you can designate beneficiaries, or those individuals who will be receiving your assets and instruct how those assets will divided. Your Will allows you to appoint an Executor to carry out the provisions in the Will. Your Executor will collect and manage your property, pay your debts, and distribute your property to the named beneficiaries.

A Will also ensures that your property passes to the people you choose, rather than those people the law chooses for you.  In Texas, if you die without a Will, Texas intestacy law controls who will receive your property and in what shares. Therefore, without a Will, the future of your probate assets lies in the court’s hand, which may or may not align with your wishes. This is especially true with blended families, second marriages, or those with difficult family dynamics.

Keep in mind that a Will must be executed with certain formalities. No matter how perfect a Will may be prepared for you, unless it is properly executed in strict compliance with the law, the will may be declared entirely invalid by the court.

We realize that making a Will can be daunting, but it is important to plan for what happens to your property when you die and make sure your dependents are taken care of. We can help you put together a thorough estate plan to give you peace of mind and make things easier for your loved ones after your passing.