A last will is a document you create to specify who should receive your property when you pass away. A will answers critical questions regarding a person's estate upon death, such as who gets the house and who inherits your money, investments, and personal property. You could also appoint a Guardian for minor children in your will. We can guide you in drafting a solid last will that can stand up in probate court to avoid potential challenges.
At Karen Colon Law, PLLC, our goal is to help you make sure your goals and wishes are respected. Our estate planning attorney in Texas will assess your assets and discuss what you want for your estate. To find out more about wills and estate planning to protect yourself and your heirs, contact us online or call (915) 444-5003.
What is the Purpose of a Will in Texas?
A person who creates a Will is called a testator. Through the will, the testator can decide how their property and assets will be distributed to named beneficiaries after they pass away. This gives the testator control over what happens to their belongings both in life and after death.
With a will, you can save time, money, and stress for your loved ones by deciding who gets your assets and property upon death. It also helps lower potential family disputes by clearly stipulating your final wishes. Appointing a guardian to protect minor children will give you peace of mind by knowing someone you trust will be responsible for all your children's needs. Additionally, it allows you to provide instructions regarding funeral arrangements. For the will to work as intended, it must adhere to proper procedures in accordance with Texas law.
General Requirements of a Will in El Paso, Texas
In Texas, to be valid, a will must be written and signed according to state requirements. The person creating the will (the "testator") must have intended to create the will, have the capacity to understand what they were doing, and not have been influenced by fraud, duress, undue influence, or mistake. The will must be signed by the testator and two disinterested witnesses who were present at the time of signing. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will and should not have any personal interest in its contents.
Why Dying Intestate Should be Avoided: The Importance of Having a Will
When someone passes away without having written a will, it's referred to as "dying intestate." In this scenario, the government will take charge of dividing up and distributing the deceased's assets. There are two significant reasons why creating a will is preferable to relying on the laws of intestacy: it allows you to have a say in how your assets are distributed, and it can spare your loved ones from any headaches during the probate process. Learn more.
Intestacy laws are designed to pass property in a way that most people would want it to pass - usually to immediate family members like children, parents, siblings, grandparents, and so on. However, these laws benefit you only if you're okay with your hard-earned property going to your immediate family members.
The catch here is that if you've severed ties with a family member, that may not be taken into account when the government distributes your assets. This could lead to your property, or even the custody of your minor child, ending up in the hands of someone you would never have wanted to be a beneficiary or guardian.
When it comes to distributing property governed by intestacy laws, the process can be a real headache for your loved ones. Not only is it expensive and time-consuming, but it also leaves little benefit and many burdens for them. Keep in mind that even a valid will must go through probate court, but a well-crafted last will be probated faster and without incident.
Additionally, there are other ways to pass on your property according to your wishes while also sidestepping the probate process altogether. An estate planning lawyer can help you determine the best action for your situation and assets.
The Risks of "Do-It-Yourself" Wills in State
The expenses and lack of control that come with dying intestate, along with the perceived cost of hiring a lawyer to write a will, has led to a surge in the use of "do-it-yourself" wills. Frequently found online for a fee, these forms promise to be just as good as a traditional will prepared by a seasoned attorney.
However, these "one size fits all" documents are not customized to your individual circumstances. Creating a DIY will often lead to mistakes, creating opportunities for challenges to the will's validity upon your death. In some cases, a court may even dismiss the will entirely.
Contact an Attorney for Wills in Texas
At Karen Colon Law, PLLC, we understand the importance of creating a last will and testament that genuinely reflects your wishes and complies with the law. Our experienced estate planning attorney in El Paso, Texas will work with you to craft a strong will that ensures your hard-earned assets are distributed exactly as you desire. Don't leave your loved ones with the burden of navigating the legal complexities of an intestate estate. We take the stress out of the process and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your affairs are in order. Contact us today by filling out our online form or by calling us directly at (915) 444-5003 to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward securing your legacy.