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Will Based Estate Planning in Texas

A Will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is used to formally state who you want to receive your property when you die. A Will also names an Executor to settle your affairs. You may also name a legal guardian for a minor child (under eighteen years of age). But remember: "A Will is not a Will unless a judge says it is!"

Below are a few frequently asked questions regarding Wills:

What happens if I die without a Will?

  • If you die without a Will, State law determines how your assets will be distributed, not you! The State's default plan for you could conflict with your wishes to benefit your children, parents, brothers, sisters and/or grandchildren. That plan could also conflict with your wishes to donate to a charity or provide for your partner or friend.
  • Without a Will, you lose control over who is responsible for managing your estate. This is because the court will appoint an "administrator", a person who may not be the one you would have chosen.
  • Without a Will, it is more costly to administer your estate. Here are some of the additional costs paid by your estate when there is no will:
    • Not only must your estate hire an attorney to file the necessary documents with the court, your estate must also hire a second attorney to represent any of your unknown heirs against your estate. If you have a will your estate doesn’t need to hire a second attorney.
    • Your estate’s administrator must purchase a surety bond, which is paid out of assets of the estate. A Will typically waives the surety bond, thereby saving money.

Does a Will avoid Probate? A Will DOES NOT avoid probate! In fact, a Will guarantees probate. If you are interested in preventing your family from having to go to court after you die, please talk to us about your options. A common, efficient, and cost effective way to avoid probate is creating a  Revocable Living Trust.

When should I have an attorney review my Will? Some of the many reasons to review your Will include:

  • Divorce
  • Remarriage
  • Additional children
  • A significant change in assets
  • If your Will is more than ten years old

Is it Necessary to Have an Attorney Draft my Will for Me?

In order for a Will to be valid, there are strict requirements surrounding its drafting and execution. It is preferable to use a qualified estate planning attorney to ensure that all of the requirements are met so that your wishes will be honored. You may have estate tax issues that need to be addressed. You may also want to set up trusts for your children so that you may delay distribution of your property to them until an age you decide, or in order to protect their inheritance from predators (i.e. divorce, lawsuits, creditors, bankruptcy, etc.).

For more information about Will Based Estate Planning, please click here to select a seminar to attend and register today!

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We invite you to attend our FREE estate planning seminar. The focus of the seminar is to educate you, our neighbors, about some of the various estate planning tools available to you. Not only will you have a free interactive presentation from one of our lawyers, but there will be a question and answer period with a lawyer to help clarify any thoughts you might have during the presentation.

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Testimonials

  • Well organized, informative, useful and practical seminar presented in an interesting and even entertaining manner!
    L.A.H., Baytown, TX
  • Sure wish I’d had this seminar before I had my trust created. Excellent presentation and Q & A.
    J.B., Baytown, TX
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Vacek & Thain, PLLC serves Texas families with their estate planning, estate tax planning, charitable planning, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, Heritage trusts, wills, power of attorney, family limited partnerships, advanced asset protection planning, declaration of guardian for minor children, healthcare documents, will based estate planning and the hazards of will planning, special needs estate planning, estate administration and trust administration. Contact Vacek & Thain, PLLC if you or your loved ones reside in the Houston, Texas area, including: Katy, Cinco Ranch, Mission Bend, Pecan Grove, Richmond, Rosenberg, Greatwood, Sugar Land, Meadows Place, Bellaire, Fresno, Pearland, South Houston, Spring Valley Village, Pasadena, Clear Lake, Friendswood, and more!

Copyright © IMS. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement. Some artwork provided under license agreement.