There are a lot of things you can do for fun as a Texan. You can go for a walk in the park. Now that the weather is getting warmer you could find a swimming pool and take a dip. Depending upon where you live your kid hike a Greenbelt or take a beach day. Needless to say, this does not even take into consideration Indoor activities. You will have a myriad of opportunities to enjoy yourself this spring and summer. However, in between having fun Taking a break for something a little less fun but extremely necessary.
That less fun but extremely necessary activity would be drafting a will. I think that all Texans over the age of 18 should have a will. It may be that this is the first time that you have ever come across an opinion like this. Maybe you thought that drafting a will is only for rich people. You may have also been under the impression that drafting a will is extremely expensive. There are exceptions to every rule, but I want to help dispel these myths right off the bat. In doing so I hope that you will be encouraged to get your will drafted and signed. Not tomorrow or next week- but today. Get it done ASAP. I’m here to help encourage you to take that first step.
What are you waiting for?
Procrastination is a problem that many of us deal with daily. There may be many things that you need to do but have not yet started on simply due to a lack of motivation. When you are assigned a project in school and no you have three weeks to complete the project odds are you won’t start working on the project for at least a week or two. The deadline will spur action and cause you to work just a little harder to complete the work assignment that you have been given.
That assumes, however, that you will have the time that you have to anticipate having to complete the assignment. Imagine for a moment that you do not have the time to complete the assignment that you anticipated. What if you get sick? What if a family member gets sick and you must go away for a day or two? Would you be able to complete the project in the assigned amount of time without an extension? This is the question that you need to ask yourself. To be sure, saving things until the last minute can work out just fine if everything goes according to plan. However, let’s suppose that your plan to complete something at the last minute doesn’t work out. What happens then?
In the grand scheme of things, not being able to finish a school project on time is not the end of the world. You would either get a bad grade or may even get an extension to complete the assigned work. That will be a lesson that you could learn that you could apply to other areas of your life. Hopefully, you would learn the lesson not to procrastinate any further and would instead choose to use your time wisely. What would happen, though, if you didn’t get a second shot? How would you be able to move forward if you did not have the chance to right a wrong?
That is the exact situation that I am thinking about regarding your drafting a will. For many people, the wheel drafting process is something that is not for you. Or at least, not yet right for you. While you may be considering a will at some point in your life now is simply not the right time. You may look at drafting a will as something for older people to do. Or rich people or anyone but you. You keep telling yourself that once you cross that threshold in accumulating some property or get old enough that you will also start to think seriously about drafting a will. The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not this is the correct approach to take regarding such an important subject.
Not surprisingly, I am here to tell you that I do not think that this is the right approach to take. So many people make assumptions that involve time and having more of it to do the things that you think are important. We always think we’ll have more time to give an old friend a phone call. We always think we’ll have more time to travel with our children or otherwise enjoy them while they are at home. However, if life teaches us anything it is that we very rarely have as much time as we might think that we do. Making assumptions about time is a tricky prospect. The fact is that none of us know exactly how much time we have left to do the things that we want and need to do. That is ultimately the bottom line. You cannot assume that you will have an abundance of time in the future to complete something. Rather, the responsible approach is to take action now rather than wait for a better time.
Drafting a will is never going to be exciting to you. If drafting a will is exciting to you then you probably need to look for a new hobby or two. Thinking about your eventual passing away is not pleasant. That is the only time where your will has any legal importance. So, if you are holding off on drafting a will because you don’t want to think about what that means for you and the future of your life and that is something that you will have to get over. Thinking about drafting a will and going through with the effort are two completely different things.
You do not want to put your family in a position where you passed away suddenly, and they have no idea what you would have wanted to happen with your property. Even if you do not own a significant amount of property there is still no excuse for your not having a will. Having a will, he’s wise for many reasons not the least of which is it gives your family instructions on how to move forward with the distribution of your state once you pass away. This allows them to have a road map in hand and not have to think about these things on their own. Additionally, it allows your family and opportunity to mourn your passing and deal with the grief of your death rather than have to concern themselves with financial issues.
Where to start when it comes to drafting a will
If the preceding paragraphs did anything to motivate you to get a wheel drafted that I’ve done my job. Now we need to think seriously about where we should go from here. The first thing I would do in drafting a will is to consider the property that you own and the debts that you have. The property that you own can only be distributed after your debts are paid. Your estate will still be liable for the debts you have incurred during your life. Property of yours will be sold in the profits used to pay 4 your debts.
This may encourage you to work towards paying off any debts before your passing. Depending upon your motivation and your circumstances you could find yourself in a position where you have more debts than you do property. At that stage, you would be in a position where your estate would pay the creditors based on the order of importance while your potential beneficiaries receive nothing in the way of property. If this does not sound like a desirable situation to put yourself in then your next step would be to pay as much debt off as you can before your passing so that your beneficiaries can be left with some degree of property.
Otherwise, you should begin to inventory any property that you own. This just means performing a basic walkthrough of the property that you own in terms of personal property, real estate, investments, and retirement accounts. These are the items that would be distributed to your beneficiaries under the will once you pass away. There may be specific items that you want to go to specific people for various reasons. The time to organize this information would be now rather than immediately before you have your wheel drafted. This way you can likely give yourself some time to think about how you want your property to be divided and in what way.
The next obvious place to look would be to determine who you want your beneficiaries to be. Many people select close family members to be the main beneficiaries under their will. This makes the most sense as your close family members are likely the people that you have the closest and best relationships with. For what it is worth, the Texas probate code would also give these people priority on the property contained in the nearest state if they were to die without a will. Still, choosing to allow family members to receive most of the property in your estate after your passing is a tried-and-true method.
On the other hand, he may also choose to allow people from outside of your family to receive property of this sort. For instance, you may have a church, nonprofit organization, friend, or even coworker that you would like to be able to receive property out of your estate after you pass away. Your will is the best Ave to ensure that this can happen. Bear in mind that it is extremely unlikely that without a will any of these groups of people would be able to receive property from you. As a result, if you have people from outside your family who would like to receive property out of your estate after your passing then you need to have a will. It’s as simple as that.
Another step that I may take in this process would be to appraise the property that you have. and appraisal means to give an educated guess as to the value of the property. This can be more complicated for certain assets but in general, you could count the value of your property and then total it to determine the approximate value of your estate. This will help you in being able to determine how to divide up the property between your beneficiaries. For example, you may want to make sure your children receive certain pieces of personal property. You could divide that property up and then inform your children ahead of time what year will say so that there will not be a great deal of confusion or surprise after your passing.
Do you know how much debt you have or to whom you owe money? Hopefully, the amount of debt that you own is relatively small, but you should verify near debts by reviewing your credit report at least once a year regardless of whether you are drafting a will. However, because you are drafting a will, I certainly would recommend Reviewing this list of your debts. You may find that there are credit accounts open that you were unaware of. This is something that you can get resolved before your passing in that it will not be a problem then for your family.
The decision to hire an attorney to draft your will
another question that you need to ask yourself is whether or not it is necessary or even beneficial for you to have a will drafted by an attorney. For many of you reading this blog post drafting a will may sound incredibly uncomfortable. On top of that, the idea of having an attorney on board to walk you through the process may sound even less desirable. Sharing with an attorney your thoughts and plans of this sort may be something that you are extremely uncomfortable with. In other cases, you may have presumptions and concerns about the money that it would take to hire a lawyer. With so much at stake in the will drafting process you should be sure of whatever direction you would like to go. Here are my thoughts on hiring an attorney to assist you with will drafting.
When it comes to drafting a will, you need to understand what you know and what you do not know. The more information you have when beginning a process the better you would be prepared to complete the process successfully. In mind you must ask yourself what you currently know about the wheel drafting process and what you think you would be capable of learning in a relatively short amount of period remember, you do not want to take any amount of time to complete the wheel drafting process. Rather, you would like to have a good plan that you can execute relatively quickly.
an experienced estate planning attorney can help you in several ways related to drafting a will. First and foremost, the attorney can assist you by helping you to create solutions that are creative but also functional for your family. You may want to be able to structure your will in such a way that certain people can inherit property from you so long as they fulfill certain conditions. Other times, you may want some advice on how to word requests within your will so that there is no confusion about your intentions. In that case, you should consider having an attorney by your side to assist you. The attorney can provide you with ideas and concepts that may be able to help alleviate some of the concerns that you have in the wheel drafting process.
As far as the costs associated with hiring an attorney, I can tell you that there are attorneys out there for just about any budget. You may have a certain amount of money that you are willing to spend on an attorney. This is part of the reason why you should consider meeting with a handful of experienced estate planning attorneys before deciding on who to hire. By doing so you can you need to learn more about what sort of attorney may work best for you and your family given your current situation. You can also learn about how the attorney views your situation in what he or she would do to help assist you all in your end of the life planning period
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed estate planning attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas estate planning as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of an estate planning case.