Every year, many people in Texas die without a will. Though the prospect of one’s mortality may be depressing, it’s still important to make the appropriate plans.
Creating a will allows you to decide what you want to happen to your estate once you’re gone. That can reduce stress for the people you leave behind, and it can give you peace of mind right now.
When someone passes away without a valid will, that’s called dying intestate. If you die intestate, your estate will go through probate. You may have ideas about how you want your assets distributed, but you won’t get to share them without a will. At best, a judge will try to determine what you would have wanted.
Absent a will, complex laws of inheritance determine who has a right to inherit. If your wishes deviate from the laws of inheritance, a will is the only way to carry them out. For instance, if you want to leave assets to someone who isn’t a family member or spouse, that won’t happen if you die intestate.
Many people wish to donate a portion of their estate to charity, but only a will can guarantee that outcome. In a worst-case scenario, the people and causes to which you truly want to leave your estate could be left with nothing.
Even if your estate goes to the people you love most, they may not feel satisfied with the outcome. Without a valid will, there’s room for them to instigate legal disputes that a will could have prevented.
Though creating a will can be stressful, planning for the future is always a good choice. An attorney with experience in wills and probate can help you explore your options.