The top five reasons why everyone should have a will

Reason #1: Select your beneficiaries.

If you die intestate (without a Will), Texas law will then determine how your property will be divided and to whom it will be distributed. The distribution of property can become complicated particularly if there are children from a prior marriage or if your children predecease you. A properly drafted Will can avoid this complication. The terms of the Will clearly will identify your beneficiaries and designate the manner in which you have chosen to distribute your property.

Reason #2: Designate a guardian for your minor children.

The designation of a guardian is crucial when minor children are involved. In the event of the death of both parents, a court may appoint a suitable person to serve as a guardian for any minor children. The guardian will be responsible for their care and management. There is no guarantee that the court will appoint a guardian who shares your values and morals. It is therefore imperative to plan ahead and give important consideration to the designation of a guardian.

Reason #3: Nominate an executor to serve without bond.

An executor is the individual named in the Will who is responsible for distributing the decedent’s property. Texas law allows for the appointment of a qualified executor to serve without the necessity of posting a bond. If an executor is not named in the Will, then the probate court may appoint an administrator and require the administrator to post a costly bond. The estate will then incur this additional expense.

Reason #4: Avoid court supervision.

Texas law provides for the independent administration of estates without court supervision. The net result is the settlement of an estate with a minimum of cost and delay. A properly drafted Will, prepared by an attorney experienced in probate law, is the best way to provide for an independent administration procedure without court supervision.

Reason #5: Efficient estate administration.

The administration of a decedent’s estate can be a challenging process. A properly drafted Will can alleviate concerns during this difficult time, provide peace of mind and promote a prompt and efficient estate administration process.

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