When there is a Will, it is your way…

You might have heard about an old saying, “When there is a Will, there is a way”. I didn’t mean the will in you. Here I meant about the Last Will and Testament. Will is an important part in one’s financial planning. Everyone should have a will. The problem, many people delay or avoid making the decision because of some reasons. Texas A&M university Real Estate center published an article in their magazine last month. It says people delay due to two misperceptions. First, you cannot draft a will by yourself; you need an attorney. Second, you do not need a will if you own no property.

But that’s not the truth. Texas recognizes two types of written wills: a holographic will (one entirely in the deceased’s handwriting) and an attested will (one not entirely in the deceased’s handwriting), such as a typewritten will. A holographic requires no witnesses while an attested will requires at least two. So, in essence, you can draft your
own will, especially if it is holographic. That would at least help your surviving spouse and your children’s to assure your assets will be there for their future instead of state deciding it.

I would add another misconception as well. Many thing they don’t need a Will since they don’t have a large asset. That’s wrong. You still need a will for two reasons. First, if you have minor children, the will is the primary vehicle by which you appoint a guardian. Second, if you subsequently receive assets before or after you die, your will determines the distribution. You can also avoid Will in many cases by adding a Beneficiary or Joint Tenancy with your spouse but guardianship for kids is very important if both spouses decease. Don’t let that determined by state and sending your kids to Foster care.

I strongly recommend to check on your state legal requirement for making your Last Will and make your Will by drafting yourself and following the regulations to make it attested to avoid future issues. If you want to go one step further, you can also form a Revocable trust and avoid probate saving thousands of dollars. Please consult an attorney who can help you create a Trust. If you are Texas resident, read the detail article which TAMU Real Estate Center published and educate yourself and do the right thing for your loved ones.

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