The thought of estate planning is difficult because it forces you to think about a future that does not include you.
However tough it may be, it is important to do your research and make the right choices for your family.
Do I need a will?
If you pass away without a last will and testament, your estate enters the probate process. If you do not want the Texas Probate Code to determine what happens to your property, then you need a will that clearly states your wishes.
How does the probate process work?
In your will, you will designate an executor to carry out your desires. Responsibilities of an executor include:
- Overseeing the probate process
- Filing court documents
- Notifying creditors and beneficiaries
- Managing funds and paying bills
- Defending the will against contesters
If there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator of your estate. This person oversees the settling of debts and distribution of any remaining assets using the Texas Intestacy Chart.
The process for finalizing a simple estate may take fewer than six months, but if a will does not exist, or if individuals decide to challenge the will, then proceedings can last significantly longer.
Must my trustee also act as my children’s guardian?
No. The person you want to care for your surviving minor children may not be the best choice for managing your money. During the estate planning process, you may appoint multiple people to handle your affairs.
Each household is unique, and you know best how to care for your loved ones. You deserve to have peace of mind knowing your family will have security after your death.