Why You Should Have a Will Regardless of Your Economic Status
A will is a legally binding document that outlines a person’s wishes
regarding the distribution of their estate upon their death. A common myth about wills is that only the wealthy or those with a lot
of property need them. However, that couldn’t be further from the
truth; you should have a will regardless of your wealth or economic status.
A will makes sure that your wishes are known and honored. You can also
protect your spouse and/or children from having a long probate process
or from not receiving the assets you wish them to have. While spouses
typically inherit because of intestate succession, having a will can allow
you to either will assets to other parties or ensure your spouse inherits
everything. It is also important to note that if you want any assets to
be given to friends or charity, intestate succession laws do not account
for giving people outside of surviving family any part of your estate.
Even if believe you own almost nothing, you may have more assets than you think.
For instance, you can outline who gets your:
- Personal benefits
- Checking and savings account balances
- Motor vehicle
Texas Intestate Succession
Legally, you are not
required to have a will in Texas. However, dying without a will means that your
surviving family members will have to endure a long probate process, and
your wishes will not be known or honored. Even if you only have a few
small assets, you should share what you want to happen with them in the
event of your passing.
If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed based on Texas
intestacy statutes. Assets that pass through probate are the assets distributed based on
intestate succession. These assets include assets that do not have a co-owner
or named beneficiary.
Here is a brief outline of who will inherit based on intestate succession:
Your children will inherit everything
if you are survived by children but no spouse.
Your spouse inherits everything
if you are survived by solely a spouse and not any children, siblings,
Your parents inherit everything
if you are survived by only your parents and not a spouse, children, or
Your siblings inherit everything
if you are survived by siblings and not a spouse, children, or parents.
Your spouse will inherit half of your marital community property, a third
of your separate property, and the right to use your real estate and your
children will inherit everything else
if you are survived by a parent and spouse.
Your parent will inherit half of your separate property and your siblings
will equally inherit the remaining half of the separate property
if are survived by one parent and siblings but not a spouse.
Your spouse will inherit all of your martial community property, all of
your separate property, and half of your separate real estate, and your
sibling will inherit everything else
if you are survived by a spouse and siblings but no parents.
Need Helping Drafting a Will? Contact Our Firm Today!
At J. Roland Jeter, P.C., our attorney can help you navigate the estate
planning process, including drafting a will. We understand how frightening
thinking about life after you’ve passed on can be, but we also know
how much you may want to help your family avoid legal stress and probate.
Known for being experienced and compassionate advocates for our clients, you can trust our firm to help you with your end-of-life plans regardless
of the size of your estate. Our attorney also wants to help ensure your
interests are protected and wishes are honored. While you may be tempted
to draft a will on your own, having the help of our qualified attorney
can help ensure your will is enforceable and addresses all the components
of your estate.
Backed by over four decades of experience, our attorney is here to help
you. Schedule a case consultation by calling 972-330-4050 or
reaching out to us online today.