Wills & Probate in Texas:
Wills & Probate
It is always important to be prepared. A Will is a legal document that directs who will inherit your real and personal property when you die. If you do not have a legal Will prepared, then the laws of the state will dictate how your property is distributed. Often, property is distributed in a way that is contrary to what the deceased would have wanted had he/she properly executed a valid, legal Will. Further, without a legal Will, it is often more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming for the family members to legally transfer the property.
Texas Probate Code
To be legally valid in Texas, a Will must meet the requirements of the Texas Probate Code.
What is the Probate Process in Texas?
The probate process is the formal process by which a deceased person’s estate is managed. Probate can take many forms, depending on whether there is a will or not, and if the testator allowed for a dependent or independent administration of their will.
Other Testamentary/Estate Planning Documents
Other documents recommended to avoid guardianships over incapacitated persons and their property/estates:
Durable Power of Attorney
Durable Power of Attorney allows a person to name another person as their agent to act in their lace should they become incapacitated. POA’s can also be used for very specific acts that someone may need someone else to do that singular task, for example, the power of attorney to transfer motor vehicle used in divorces.
Medical Power of Attorney
Medical Power of Attorney allows an individual to name one or more persons as their medical agent to act in their place should they become incapacitated. If you do not have a medical POA, it is likely that your family will have to
endure the difficult and expensive process of obtaining a guardianship over you to handle your medical care.
Advanced Directive – also known as a “living will” or “Healthcare Directive,” this document lets physicians know what your wishes are regarding life support.
Appointment of Agent for Disposition of Remains
Appointment of Agent for Disposition of Remains– This document directs who will make decisions regarding your funeral or cremation. In many cases, this document is not necessary, but in some cases, it is very helpful to have an unmarried person may wish for their significant other to make all the decisions regarding the deposition of their deceased body and the funeral arrangements.
Living Trust is created, funded, and in existence during one’s lifetime. This is different than a contingent trust which is created under a Last Will and Testament. An estate planning attorney can explain what this is and whether or not it would be beneficial in each case.
Preparing for Your Consultation
Please print out the intake sheet below, complete it and bring it with you to your consultation. If you do not have your intake sheet with you when you come for your appointment, please plan to be at least 20 minutes early to your appointment.
Areas of Practice in Texas: Southlake, Westlake, Roanoke, Trophy Club, Keller, Grapevine, North Richland Hills, HEB area, Denton, Flower, Mound, Lewisville, Frisco, Colleyville, Fort Worth, Dallas, Highland Village, Oak Point, Crossroads, Watauga, Shady Shores, and Copper Canyon.