The Basics Of A Will
A will is a legal document that outlines how your money and property (known as your estate) should be distributed among a list of heirs or beneficiaries. Most wills also name an executor who is responsible for distributing property to the beneficiaries according to the wishes of the deceased. The executor is often named as a beneficiary as well.
Couples with minor children can also use a will to have a say in who is raising their children. By naming a guardian, they can ensure that their children will be cared for by someone of their choice. A will can also be used to name someone to manage property left to minor children until they become adults.
Why You Should Create A Will
If you die without a will, your estate goes into probate and your property is distributed according to Texas intestacy law. These laws outline a hierarchy of relatives to distribute assets to beginning with a surviving spouse and extending to grandparents, nieces and nephews. If the court cannot locate any relatives by blood or marriage, your estate becomes the property of the state.
Creating a will gives you control over who will care for your minor children when you die. If your spouse is also deceased or cannot be found after you die, any friend or family member can nominate themselves to become your children’s legal guardian. A judge then decides who the guardian will be based on what they perceive to be the best interests of the children. The court does not automatically grant guardianship to grandparents or siblings as some people believe.
Modifying A Will After Divorce Or Other Life Changes
Your will is not a sign it and forget its document. You should modify your will whenever there are significant changes in your life. If you are a new parent, you should add a section to your will naming a guardian for your new child. If you are a new divorcee, you may want to remove sections naming your ex as an heir. As people are born and die and move in and out of your life, you need to keep your will up to date, so it reflects your wishes and current life circumstances.
For More Information On Drafting A Will, Contact The Farias Law Firm
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