Wills Attorney in Temple Delivering on Your Final Wishes While Protecting your Hard-Earned Assets
Not everyone gets the privilege of creating a will, though it’s often by choice. There are more Americans with disaster coverage, financial protection, and prevention plans for living life than there are wills. They are not the same.
End-of-life planning should be as natural as a prenuptial agreement, retirement fund, or life insurance policy. A will is a simple legal tool that allows you to express your final wishes and plans for your hard-earned assets. It’s one of the easiest ways to support and protect your family when you’re gone.
Why people choose to avoid the estate planning process and will creation have more to do with misguided assumptions and beliefs regarding age and wealth—or lack thereof, the reality is that everyone over 18, whether single, building a family, or middle age and married with children, should have a will in place, at a minimum.
Barina Law Group is a superior choice in the Texas area for legal counsel, support, and estate planning needs for people of all ages and stages of life. It’s never too early or late to start thinking about your future.
What If I Die Without a Will?
When a person dies without a will in Texas, this is called “dying intestate.” In this scenario, a person has no executor to distribute the assets. The estate must go through the legal probate process to dole out the property, money, and personal belongings to the immediate heirs.
Intestacy laws will determine who will inherit the deceased person’s assets, which are no longer in the family’s hands. To your family’s surprise, they will watch the court determine whom assets should go to, which might include a person or people you would not have chosen.
Without a will, you lose that control, and your family bears the brunt of this decision. At the same time, the probate process can take up to six years, especially when complex estates and many assets, properties, business, and more is involved.
It costs time and money to navigate the probate process, especially if attorneys must get involved to resolve conflicts or disputes among family members. While all wills must go through the probate process—though it’s much shorter than a will—a living trust is one-way families can avoid probate altogether and keep their assets private and protected, as well as out of the legal system.
What Should I Include in a Will?
Life is unexpected, though the more you plan for the unknown, the more prepared you are for the outcome of any significant life event. This is the benefit of having a will—a simple legal tool meant to communicate your desires, including how you want your assets distributed when you’re gone.
Every will must include critical components and leave little to the imagination regarding final wishes, details regarding assets and funeral arrangements, as well as other end-of-life needs or requests.
It’s meant to serve as a guidebook for your executor so your family knows what you want and how they should execute it. Our attorneys can help you make these big decisions, so you don’t have to worry about missed details. All wills should include:
- Personal information and intent
- List of property and assets
- Beneficiaries to receive your assets
- Executor to execute your will
- Legal guardianship for any minor children
- Witnesses to ensure the will is valid
Wills are personal, and broaching the subject alone can be exhausting and confusing. We can quickly work through some of the common hurdles of will planning to give you the peace of mind you’re looking for without the hassle.
How Do I Approach My Family About My Will?
Our recommendation is to approach your family before you draft a will. Death is an emotional time only exacerbated by some of the loose ends, such as the distribution of assets. Without transparency up front, some people might assume they are receiving money, property, or personal belongings and feel confused or wronged when they don’t.
This is how family disputes start and can be prevented with a bit of upfront communication. Having these conversations as soon as possible, particularly with immediate family members, is a sage choice.
At the same time, some people choose to leave immediate family members out of a will for personal reasons. It’s your will, and you should always do it your way. However, this is another instance having a direct conversation is essential, so there are no surprises later on—and a simple explanation or reasoning will suffice.
Suppose you’re stuck wondering how to approach difficult conversations around end-of-life planning. In that case, this is part of the guidance our attorneys with Barina Law Group can offer in the planning process.
How Should I Express My Intentions?
The idea of will planning is daunting, especially taking a step to communicate your final wishes when you might not have all of the answers. You don’t have to. Any questions about what should go into a will, how to write a will or how to approach any situation related to end-of-life planning is the kind of relief our estate attorneys offer.
Every step of the will creation and estate planning process will uncover some unknowns.
To answer the question “how should I express my intentions,” a letter of intent will do the job. It is meant to convey personal wishes and matters such as hopes for family legacy, specific wishes regarding assets or gifts, and an explanation of your estate plan, including any decisions as to whom receives what (and why).
It is not meant to replace your will or trust as a legally binding document. However, it is intended to complement your legal documents and help validate the thought process behind certain decisions.
Will planning doesn’t have to be a burden. Contact Barina Law Group and discuss your estate planning needs with our experienced attorneys by calling: (254) 323-5506.