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LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

ESTATE PLANNING

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It’s vital to correctly write a will that tells loved ones who will inherit your estate and assets.

Creating Your Last Will and Testament in Texas

A will is a legally binding document that details your wishes regarding the distribution of your property, money, and assets. It's vital to correctly write a will that tells loved ones who will inherit your estate and who will have the task of distributing your assets.

You can also appoint someone to care for any minor children or pets to ensure they are correctly looked after when you pass. Wills should be prepared within the requirements of Texas law and signed to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Let's look at why you need a will and what happens if you die without a will in Texas.

What Is a Will and Why Do I Need One?

Wills are legal documents that provide details of your wishes regarding the distribution of property and assets after your death. Many people believe that wills are only necessary for those with complicated assets or people who are wealthy.

However, having a will is beneficial as it will set forth your wishes and allow you to state who you want to take care of children. Wills can also help your loved ones resolve issues regarding inheritance and ownership of property that may arise after you die.

It's crucial to write a will if you're part of a blended family and intent to give blood children priority rather than stepchildren. Writing a will allows you to be clear about who will inherit which assets and will enable you to decide how much each family member will inherit.

Your will must be prepared within the requirements of Texas law, and the document must be witnessed to decrease the chance that it will be challenged. You'll need to be in sound mind to make a will. To ensure everything is in order before your death, you can have your will professionally prepared by a power of attorney.

Having a will also allows you to stop your assets from being inherited by an estranged relative. If you've already written a will, your heirs will be able to access your assets easily. You can also include charitable donations or gifts in your will, which may even offset estate tax.

Distribution of Property

In Texas, your estate is comprised of all of the assets you own. This includes money and real estate, including your home, land, business premises, and community property. Your assets also include any stocks and bonds, life insurance, and retirement accounts that you own or have set up. Finally, your vehicle and personal property will also need to be distributed.

Real property includes your land and any oil, gas, or mineral interests located on your land. Writing a will gives you the chance to document how you want to distribute your estate after your death.

A Texas last will and testament is a legal document that should be compiled with the help of a law firm. You'll also need a designated executor who will be legally responsible for distributing assets and paying off any debts.

What happens if I Die Without a will?

If you die in Texas without a valid will, the state laws will be followed, and your estate and assets will be divided between all your immediate family members. Any other wishes you had may not be carried out, even if you told a close family member how you wanted to divide your assets.

You could also put your family in a challenging and stressful situation as they will have to go through a legal process at a probate court to divide your estate. Without a will, your heirs will have to spend additional time and money settling your affairs. This may even end up causing family arguments.

Many homeowners assume that their spouse will inherit the marital property if they die without a will. However, this isn't immediately the case as your home will be divided between your spouse and children depending on whether it's classed as community property or separate property.

If you have any children who are still dependents, you'll be able to appoint a guardian to care for your children. If you don't have a will, it will be left up to the courts to decide, which may be distressing for your children and other family members.

Contact Barrows Firm Today!

If you're searching for legal advice about preparing your will and the distribution of property after you're gone, you may like to contact Barrows Firm. We offer estate planning in the state of Texas and can help you write your will or rewrite an existing will. The Barrows Firm can be contacted on (817) 481-1583 or info@barrowsfirm.com.

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For more information about estate planning, contact Attorney Leslie Barrows through our contact form or by calling 817-481-1583.