How old should you be before you need a will? Is a will just something for people in their retirement years? Do you really need a will if you’re relatively young, healthy, and your family gets along great?
Short answer: If you own property, care about someone, and aren’t immortal, then you should have a will. If you don’t have a will, then it’s your loved ones, not you, who face the consequences. Without a will, the State of Texas will decide how your property should be dispersed upon your death. If you’re interested in seeing what would happen to your property if you die without a will (you die “intestate”), check out the Texas Probate Code. In particular, look at §§ 38, 43, and 45, which are the basic sections for intestate property distribution in Texas.
You might notice that those sections in the Probate Code lay out a plan for property distribution that is somewhat close to what you’d like done with your property when you die. No surprise there—those laws are shaped to mimic what the average Joe would want done with his property. Plus, most Texans die without a will, and the world hasn’t stopped yet!
So, if the default plan in the Probate Code is somewhat similar to what you want, why hassle with a will? A) It’s really not that much hassle and probably cheaper than you think. B) Dying with a will is cheaper and generally easier for your loved ones when you die. C) Peace of mind.
If you’re still hesitant about getting in touch with an attorney at a law firm, like Shutt Law Firm PLLC, at least make a handwritten will. Of course, it’s much better to have a lawyer draft you a will, but handwritten wills are legally recognized in Texas. However, you do have to jump through a few hoops to get a Texas court to recognize your handwritten will (the courts call it a “holographic will”). Most notably, a valid holographic will must be completely in your handwriting and signed by you. Consult the Texas Probate Code for more specifics on holographic wills, especially §§ 60 and 84. If you handwrite a will, keep it in a safe place and tell loved ones that it exists and where they can find it.
If you are at retirement age (or past it), it’s absolutely time for a true-blue, lawyer-drafted will. I’d also recommend a will if you have kids, especially if they’re from a previous marriage. I recommend to my will clients that they invest in a full “wills package,” which contains many other important documents, such as a Living Will, a Medical Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Declaration of Guardian, and others. Shutt Law Firm PLLC offers attractive flat-fees for both simple wills and wills packages. Visit ShuttLawFirm.com for more information.
Isaac Shutt is the Attorney/Owner at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Visit http://www.shuttlawfirm.com or email email@example.com. You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this blog or to discuss a different legal matter. Phone-calls and quick e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Richardson probate lawyer, Richardson wills lawyer, Richardson estate planning attorney, or Richardson guardianship lawyer.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this blog post constitutes legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney. Further, nothing in this blog shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until you sign an engagement letter with the Firm.