Are you thinking about writing a will in the near future? There are many details of preparing and writing a will to take into consideration, and many times, people might become overwhelmed with the process. Let’s talk about how to reduce the amount of stress that seems synonymous with preparing a will.
Did you know that you already have a default estate plan? It’s true; if you happen to pass away without preparing one yourself, the state follows a process called “intestate succession”. This means that the state will decide what will happen to your property if you lack a personally prepared will. Research has revealed that about 60% to 70% percent of Texas residents die intestate.
Name an Executor
An executor is the person who will pay your creditors, file documents with the court, distribute assets to your heirs, etc. Simply put, it’s the person who will take charge of your assets after you pass away. Since this person will distribute everything you hold dear, make sure it’s someone you know and trust.
What Should Go into a Will?
When drafting a will, you can designate who will receive what, when and under what terms. You can also leave some of your assets outright, but there are some caveats. For example, you can leave your daughter $150,000 outright, but if she has recently divorced and is ordered to pay $200,000 to her ex-husband, those $150,000 may go to him instead.
If you’re more interested in being specific about how you want your distributions to be handled, then consider a testamentary trust where you can specify how they’re made. You may want for your monetary assets to go specifically to your children’s or grandchildren’s educations or health treatments.
Pay what you owe – this means credit cards, loans and any other financial obligations. Your executor will be bound to pay any debt you leave behind, including IRS fines. If creditors file a claim against your estate and the court deems it valid, your executor will need to pay those debts.
After forming a will and having an attorney review it, make sure to sign it. Every state requires two adult witnesses to be present who aren’t beneficiaries. We suggest having one of our attorneys look over your document to ensure that it meets the standards of state law.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
We know that preparing a will is the last thing many want to do. It immediately brings to the table the reality of one day having to make hard decisions that will leave a lasting impact on the people you love after you pass. Call us today and we’ll help make the process simple and easy for peace of mind that you need.