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    A will is one of the most important documents that you’ll sign, yet so many people procrastinate doing it. Maybe because they don’t know how to do it, don’t think they have enough assets, or don’t want to think about death. While understandable, creating a will is one of those uncomfortable things that all people should do, and there are lawyers that can help throughout the complex process.

    And since each state has a default plan for how property must be distributed if you die without a will, it’s important to work with a lawyer who knows the laws in your state. Today we’re going to focus on the importance of having a will in Texas and what will happen if you don’t create one.

    Why Is It Important to Have a Will?

    Why Is It Important to Have a Will?

    Having a will in Texas is important because it allows you to specify how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. Without a will, the state will determine how your assets will be divided according to the laws of intestacy, which may not align with your wishes or may not provide for certain family members or friends. A will also allows you to name an executor to manage the distribution of your assets and to name guardians for any minor children. This helps ensure that your assets are distributed in an efficient and orderly manner.

    In Texas, How Are Assets Divided Without a Will?

    In Texas, when someone dies without a will, their assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. These laws determine how the deceased person’s property will be divided among their surviving family members. 

    If the deceased person is survived by a spouse and children, the spouse will receive the first $75,000 of the deceased person’s separate property, plus one-third of the remaining separate property. The children will equally split the remaining two-thirds of the separate property. If the deceased person is survived by a spouse and no children, the spouse will receive all of the deceased person’s separate property. 

    If the deceased person is not survived by a spouse or children, their separate property will be distributed to their parents, if they are living, or to their siblings, if their parents are not living. If the deceased person is not survived by any close relatives, their separate property will go to the state. 

    It’s important to note that these laws only apply to separate property and not to community property, which is property acquired during marriage that’s split equally between spouses. Having a will can help you ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and not the state’s laws.

    What Is the Role of a Lawyer in the Making of a Will?

    What Is the Role of a Lawyer in the Making of a Will?

    A lawyer can play an important role when it comes to creating a will. Some of the ways that a lawyer can assist with the will-making process include: 

    • Advising on legal requirements. A lawyer can advise on the legal requirements that must be met for a will to be valid, such as the number of witnesses required and the mental capacity of the person making the will. 
    • Helping to identify and value assets. A lawyer can help to identify all of the assets that need to be included in the will, and can also provide guidance on how to value those assets.  
    • Drafting the will. A lawyer can draft the will and ensure that it is written clearly and unambiguously, in order to avoid any confusion or disputes about its meaning. 
    • Advising on tax implications. A lawyer can advise on any tax implications that may arise from the distribution of assets under the will, and can also advise on any tax-planning strategies that can be used to minimize the tax burden on the beneficiaries.  
    • Advising on trust creation. A lawyer can advise on the creation of trusts within the will, which can be useful for providing for minor children or protecting assets for beneficiaries who are not capable of managing them themselves.  
    • Representing the executor. A lawyer can also represent the executor during probate, which is the legal process of validating the will and distributing the assets according to its terms, and provide guidance and representation in case of any challenges or disputes. 

    AMS Law Group

    Lawyers play an important role in ensuring that a will is properly drafted, executed, and administered and that the assets are distributed in accordance with the testator’s wishes. At AMS Law Group, our lawyers are available to help you create a will or handle possible complications if a loved one passes away without one. Contact us for a free case review.

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