Planning for the future is an essential aspect of life, and making a Will is a vital aspect of estate planning.
A Will is a legal document that outlines how your assets and property should be distributed after your death.
It can also name a guardian for your minor children and designate an executor to manage your estate after your death.
Do I Need a Will?
You may find yourself wondering, “should I have a Will?” The short answer is “yes”. When it comes to estate planning, having a Will is critical to ensuring that your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes after your death.
A Will can also provide other important benefits, such as:
- Choosing an executor to manage your estate and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes,
- Appointing a guardian to take care of your minor children in the event of your death,
- Minimizing family conflicts after your death, and
- Avoiding probate complications.
Requirements of a Valid Will in Texas
Drafting a Will is not as simple as writing down your wishes on a piece of paper. While it may seem like a DIY approach to drafting a Will is a cost-effective solution, it is crucial to seek the services of a qualified attorney to ensure that your Will is clear, comprehensive, and legally binding.
In Texas, there are specific requirements that must be met for a Will to be considered valid. If these requirements are not met, your Will may be declared invalid.
First, in order to make a Will, a person must generally be 18 years of age or older and of sound mind.
In addition, with limited exception, a Will must be in writing, signed by the person making the Will (called the testator), and signed by two or more credible witnesses who are at least 14 years of age in the testator’s presence.
What Happens If I Die Without a Will?
If your Will is declared invalid or if you pass away without a Will (called intestate), your estate will be distributed to your heirs as determined by the state.
In that case, distribution will be solely determined by the legal relationship between you and your potential heirs; the closeness or quality of your relationships is not considered in any way.
For this reason, passing without a Will often triggers unwanted results and unexpected costs and delays for those left behind. Consider the following illustrations:
As you can see from the illustrations above, the default plan provided by the state of Texas may not align with your wishes and can also result in disputes among family members.
Therefore, it is important to have a valid Will in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death.
Get in Touch with an Estate Planning Lawyer in Waco Today
Having a valid Will is critical to ensuring that your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes after your death.
Even if you already have a Will, your Will should be reviewed periodically and updated to reflect any changes in your personal or financial circumstances.
For example, if you get married or divorced, have children, or acquire new assets or property, you should update your Will to reflect these changes. Failing to update your Will can result in unintended consequences and disputes among family members.
If you need assistance with creating or updating your Will, it is important to seek the services of a qualified attorney who can help you navigate the legal requirements and ensure that your Will is legally binding.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we have been helping Central Texans for over 50 years. Our expert estate planning attorneys can help you create or update your Will as needed, ensuring that your wishes are always up-to-date.
A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your property and assets after your death. While a will is not required in Texas, having one can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Yes, you can change your will after it’s been executed in Texas. You can do this by making a new will or by adding a codicil to your existing will.
To revoke a will in Texas, you can either destroy it or create a new will that revokes the old one.
If you die without a will in Texas, your assets will be distributed according to state law, which may not align with your wishes.
While it’s not required to have a lawyer to make a will in Texas, it can be helpful to ensure that your will is valid and legally sound. A lawyer can also provide guidance on the best way to structure your will to meet your goals.