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It is never too soon to start planning for the future and to protect your assets.

Get a Will, Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!

People often call to request a will or want to come in for an update because they are taking an overseas vacation and want to be prepared for anything that could happen. Meanwhile, most traffic fatalities occur within a much closer range from home. Get a will now and include a living will for added security. There is no excuse to die without a will. Get your wills prepared today at the Barrows Firm.

Prepare Your Wills with the Barrows Firm in Southlake

It is never too soon to start planning for the future – or to make sure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your passing. The future is unknown to us all, that’s why you shouldn’t wait to create your will. Don’t wait until you reach a certain age in life or hit a particular milestone, because life has no guarantees. A Last Will and Testament, however, requires the minimum effort you should make when considering the future without your presence and can safeguard your wishes.

At the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Leslie Barrows makes the process of preparing wills quick and easy because it is that important to make sure your family is protected if the unexpected were to occur.

What Can A Will Do in Texas?

Your will can direct who should take care of your children after your passing, who should take over your business if you have one, who receives your belongings, and other property-related wishes. Your will also requires the appointment of an executor, someone you trust who will be responsible for ensuring that all of the instructions left in your will are carried out.

Specific gifts can be named and instructions can be as detailed and conditioned as requested. With general gifts, heirs and beneficiaries (related or not related) can be granted a percentage share of the cash value of the residual estate after named gifts are distributed and property is transferred, sold, or kept as requested in the will.

Choosing an Executor: Who Should it Be, and Should You Tell

Do you choose your first-born child? What about the most responsible? Maybe the child who lives closest to you? There are many reasons people make their decisions about who to appoint as the executor of their will when they die. Attorneys who practice in probate court know how sad it is when siblings go to war over the executor of a parent’s will. If there are serious issues with the named executor, it might be best to tell everyone before the will is prepared so that expectations can be managed and issues can be resolved peacefully. When you are still alive and well, any objections can be voiced and a family can have more peace.

Make Your Will When Everyone is Alive, Well, and Happy

Creating a will helps your family avoid disputes over your assets and makes legal decisions easier after your passing.  A will can be an invaluable document while you are still alive. A living will explains the type of medical care you would like if you are unable to communicate those instructions yourself (including end-of-life care, the use of medical intervention, and more). Using a living trust can save your family money and help them make difficult decisions during a stressful situation.

What Happens With Your Will When You Die?

When a family member passes, the executor, if previously known, or another person in the family contacts the wills and estates lawyer who prepared the will and they usually file the will with the Probate Court. The probate process involves the probate court overseeing the identification and distribution of assets and instructions in a will. Much of the process involves making sure people named in the will get proper notice of everything going on.

What Happens if You Die Without a Will?

In Texas, if you die and do not have a will, the laws of Intestate Succession apply and your assets will go to your closest relatives as identified in the Texas Estates Code. Note that adopted children take under a will as if they were natural-born children of the decedent. There are several sections of the succession rules and procedures and avoiding this process for your family is a benefit of having properly written and prepared wills.

Want to Disinherit Someone? Leave Them Something

Meant in all seriousness, some people are certain about wanting to disinherit a child or spouse in a will. All judgment aside, it is the maker of the will’s decision to leave as much or as little of their estate to others. The danger is not naming someone in a will, as there are cases in will contests that can create shares of an estate to go to someone who is suggested to have been accidentally omitted from the will. If you want to make sure this doesn’t happen, name that person in the will and give them a nominal amount of money or property.

Update Your Will if You Have Children, or Remarry

It is important to update your will and your estate planning documents when there is a major life event like the birth or death of a child, a divorce, or remarriage. When all your intended living beneficiaries are named properly in your will, the chances decrease that there could be a will contest.

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Frequently asked questions about wills:

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Can I write my wishes on a piece of paper and sign it (to serve as a will)?

This is not recommended. It is possible that a will written in your handwriting and signed can be valid and admitted to probate in Texas, however, many problems often arise with this type of will. It may not be recognized as valid by the court, because it fails to arrange all of your property. More than likely, it will also fail to take advantage of time-saving and cost-saving measures available if a formal will is used.  

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Do I really need a will if I don’t have many assets?

No one knows what the future holds, but death is certain. Your financial situation now may not be the same as at the time of your death. What if you discover a priceless antique or win the lottery? Even if you do not possess many assets, if you are married (or have children), what little assets you have may impact their lives (and future). A will, in the least, will lessen their stress and allow them to know your final wishes. 

We will meet with you one-on-one to help you prepare for both the expected and unexpected.

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

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