Monday, October 09, 2006

Do I need a will?

I recommend that my clients have a will for several reasons. First, with a will, you decide who inherits your money and possessions. Without a will, a Texas statute and the court will make that decision. Many times your wishes would not have been the same as what the statute and courts provide.

Second, in Texas, you are allowed to choose between whether your estate will be independently administered or probated. Independent administration is less costly and less time-consuming than the traditional probate process. The only catch is that independent administration needs to be provided for in your will.

Third, with a will, you get to decide who the executor of your estate will be. Without a will, a court will make that determination.

Fourth, you can set up a trust for your children in your will to provide for their future financial needs. You can also select a family member, friend or financial advisor that will oversee and invest your children’s inheritance until they are old enough to manage it themselves (whether you decide this age is 21 or 51).

Fifth, if your estate is large enough, you may be able to minimize or eliminate any estate taxes paid to the government. With proper planning, you can maximize the amount of money that your children or other heirs will receive, rather than paying extra, unnecessary taxes.

If you want to decide who will receive your estate and you want to maximize what they receive, you need a will.

As always, please feel free to contact us through our website ( if we can be of assistance.

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