One of the greatest rights that we have as Texans and American citizens is the ability to tell the government who we want to own our property when we pass away. Admittedly, this may not be a right that we think about all that regularly but the truth is that in many parts of the world when you die no such right attaches to your property or your estate. The government would determine where your property ends up after your passing. It could be that your close family ends up with your property as you probably would have wished. However, the possibility also exists that property could wind up in the hands of the government or someone else entirely.
This is why I highly recommend to every person over the age of 18 that they should have a will. Not only is it important for those around you but it is also important to be able to prevent your property from going to someone against your wishes. I know many of us would rather we see our property headed in any direction but towards the government after our passing. However, if you do not have a will then these privileges and rights do not attach to your property. The law will not examine your wishes because they were not made known before your passing. At that stage, the laws of intestate distribution would come into play and a probate court judge would determine where your property would end up upon your passing.
Just because most Americans and Texans die without a will does not mean that you should be one of those people. Not giving those people most important to you the right to receive your property upon your passing is a huge mistake. By the same token, you also I cannot specify which people you do not want to inherit from me. This does not mean that you are petty or greedy if you have persons in mind that you do not want to inherit from you. For instance, you may know of certain people in your life whose inheriting property would be a major negative for them. This could be for any number of reasons but mostly because those persons would abuse the privilege of inheriting property. As such, you should think carefully about what you want your legacy to be and whether or not you want to risk passing away without a will. I hope you can already tell that the effects of your doing so can be significant and negative.
Why is it that most people die without a will?
When I made that statement earlier that most people in our country and state die without a will that may have caught some of you by surprise. To understand why this is the problem we also need to discuss why it is that people die without a will. Above all else, passing away without a will causes you to not take advantage of your rights and privileges under the law to determine how your property is distributed upon your death. This is a huge disadvantage to put yourself in and can be a completely unforced error. It's not as if there is someone or something out there that is actively preventing you from drafting a wheel. Rather, no one out there is trying to prevent you from drafting your will. It is only what I'm doing that prevents you from getting well drafted.
One of the major reasons why I observed people not having a will is that they do not own much property. You may think that because you don't own much property that it is not important for you to have a will. However, I can tell you that there are specific reasons why every person reading this blog post needs to have a will regardless of how much property they own.
For one, if you have a will in place you can put into practice certain provisions on who should take care of your children upon your passing. This is a much more advantageous position to be in than to have to punt that decision 2A court after your passing. Bear in mind that a court may choose a person that you would not have approved of to control your child's finances and life in general.
Another factor to bear in mind when it comes to creating a will is that your estate may grow to some extent between the time of your drafting a will and passing away. For example, you may draft a will now while you are still in school or are just beginning out in your career. Your income may steadily increase during that time and therefore you may stand 2 have a much larger estate by the time your wheel would go into effect. Additionally, you may simply inherit a great deal of money or even when money in a contest or lottery.
Finally, you have to consider the unfortunate possibility that you could pass away under circumstances that are less than desirable such as due to an auto accident or workplace incident. In that situation, You are a state that may be in a position to capitalize on any available legal actions such as a wrongful death case. All of these are possibilities that would make the drafting of a will extremely important.
Another reason why you or anyone else for that matter may pass away without a will would be if you simply did not understand how important it was to have a will. While I believe most people understand what a will is and its purpose in our day-to-day lives it could be that you did not know what it will is or even conceive of what purpose the will could serve. In that case, you could foreseeably die without ever having known what a wheel is.
Related to this circumstance is one that involves you having some wrong ideas about what penalties may attach to the inherited property for your loved ones by having a will. This is significant and there may not be much of an opportunity to clear any misconceptions up before your passing. Whether it is through the creation of a trust or will, there are many benefits to proper estate planning. However, even the best estate plan cannot overcome a lack of knowledge or inability to think through the issues associated with their case.
Unfortunately, you will also find people that simply do not care what happens to their property once they are gone. The surprising thing is that some of these people will even be quite wealthy and have spent a fair amount of time accumulating wealth and undergoing proper state planning, saving, and other efforts during their life. However, these people will shrug off any consequences to not having a will by telling you that it is not important what happens to their property after their passing. Meanwhile, their families may struggle as a result of their not having a will and not being able to access the property that was accumulated during their lives. If this sounds like you I think it would be sensible to consider what effect you're not having a will could have on your family.
The cost of having a will drafted is something that I have heard many people complained about in the past. Ironically, these same people will oftentimes shrug off the potential impacts of their passing away without a will. The way I see it, investing in an attorney on a short-term basis to draft a will is about the smartest decision you can make. Reason being that all of your hard work throughout your life to accumulate property could go for a loss if you cannot properly plan for your passing. Bearing in mind that none of us know the exact moment we're going to pass away it is an extreme risk to either delay drafting a will or not to have one at all. This is especially true if her major concern is regarding cost. My argument would be the cost is too high for you not to have a will.
Finally, I want to share with you the reality of drafting a will that involves the amount of time that it takes to prepare for the drafting and get the document onto paper. Without a doubt, to do this right does take some time. It involves meeting with an estate planning attorney and working with that lawyer to plan for your passing as best as possible. You can gather the information that you will need to draft the will only to find that your lawyer brings up multiple circumstances that you had not even begun to consider. This can be frustrating especially when you encounter a problem that is serious but you have not considered much previously.
At this stage, your attorney will likely ask you to collect additional information to consider what you want to do once this new information has been brought to everyone's attention. Once you return to your attorney's office with the information he or she is requested a second meeting would likely occur where the attorney has a rough draft of your will ready to go. The more time that it takes to draft a well the more likely it is that you either run out of money or run out of the willpower necessary to complete the process. The amount of time and effort that it takes to draft a will may cause many people to hesitate about even beginning the process.
One other issue that I think is relevant to discuss is that talking about your death, your life, and your mortality, in general, is a lot to think about. Most of us are not all that comfortable with our mortality and as a result, the drafting of oil of a will is a particularly unpleasant experience. With that said, not wanting to think about your mortality is no excuse to not have a well-drafted. Part of being an adult is considering what it means 2 live, grow wealth, and eventually die. You are doing yourself a disservice by not having a will. 30 minutes you have dreams and I can't like
What are some basic ways that property is distributed without a will?
Your property that is not handled through the probate process will be divided and distributed according to the laws of intestate succession in Texas. Note that these laws may come into play regardless of whether or not you have a will. For example, you may have a will but it may not be valid. in this case, the laws of intestate succession would come into play despite there being a will. if you were to pass away without a will and we're not married but you did have children or grandchildren then all of your intestate property would pass to these children or grandchildren.
On the other hand, if you were to pass away unmarried and without children but you had parents who survived you then each parent would inherit 1/2 of your estate. if you were to pass away as an unmarried person without a will but did not have descendants or parents then your entire estate would pass to your siblings and their descendants. If you find yourself in a position without an immediate family of this type then the estate will be divided into two halves with one half going to your father's side of the family relatives and the other half going to your mother's side of the family's relatives.
How can you prepare for your passing regardless of how much property you own?
One of the important things you can do in life is to have a will. This goes without saying but it's still something that many people disregard in terms of their daily lives. no one is arguing that it is not pleasant to have to think about our mortality and our death in terms of what will happen to our family and our property at the time of our passing. Regardless of whether or not you have a will, it is not likely to be a subject that you want to think about very much, if at all. The same goes for our families. So, while some subjects R going to be brought up more by family this may not be one of them.
With that being said, it is still crucial for you to have a conversation with experienced probate in estate planning attorney to discuss what property should be included when it comes to your will. Regardless of whether or not you have a wheel certain property will not have to be included in that process. Rather than list the property that likely will be a part of your probate case whether or not you have a will, I think it is easier for us to list the property that will not be included either way. However, we have already discussed how and why it is important for you to have a will. Not only are you leaving it up to another person to determine where your property will end up after your passing if you do not have a will the reality is that you are not caring for your family as best as you can by passing away without a will. You can leave a strong legacy for evil proper for the state planning period however you have to choose to engage in the process for this to be the case.
Life insurance benefits do not have to go through probate. In a life insurance policy, you name a beneficiary and that beneficiary would just need to submit a certificate of death to the life insurance company to be paid proceeds under that life insurance policy. You would not need to submit any of these documents to a probate court, in addition, to go into the life insurance company itself. All it takes, in this case, is 2 Submit a certificate of death and the proceeds of that life insurance policy will be made available.
Finally, retirement benefits through an IRA or 401K do not have to go through probate. In much the same way as life insurance policies, you would name a beneficiary and the proceeds from the account will go directly to the beneficiary after your passing. In this way, your family would not have to submit the account into the probate process.
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 and probate attorneys offer free of charge consultations 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 estate planning law as well as to learn more about how your family circumstances may be impacted by either an estate planning or probate case.