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Why Should I Have a Will?

  • Wade Christiansen
  • Sat, 09/30/2017 - 3:34pm


Many individuals are so busy that they neglect to properly prepare an effective estate plan.  Upon death, resolving issues of distribution of property is complicated and expensive for family members.  Having a proper estate plan is essential for the simple and effective distribution of the decedent's estate.  The most basic and important of all estate planning documents is the Last Will and Testament.  Today's blog post will identify the most important reasons to have a Will.

Why is it important to have a Will?

1.  A Will allows you to designate who receives your property upon your death.  If you don't have a Will, your property passes to certain family members in certain proportions as identified by law, such as your surviving spouse and children.  You may not necessarily want your property to go to your family, preferring to distribute your property to a charity.

2.  A Will avoids heirship proceedings.  If you die without a Will, in order to know who your heirs are to properly distribute your estate, the Court must conduct heirship proceedings.  Heirship proceedings are more expensive and time-consuming than the probate of a simple Will. 

3.  A Will allows you to dictate other terms following your death in addition to the distribution of your estate.  For example,  the Will can appoint a contingent trustee of your choosing, that will manage the estate property for a minor beneficiary.  The Will can specify certain funeral arrangements.  The Will can designate your preference of a Guardian for your minor children.

4.  A Will can provide for the independent administration of the estate.  If you die without a Will, then unless all of your heirs agree to an independent administration, the administration of your estate will be supervised by the Court at each stage.  This procedure, known as dependent administration, is significantly more expenive and time-consuming for your family, because each action taken on your case must first be approved by the Judge. 

Preparing a Last Will and Testament is relatively simple, and brings significant benefits to your family upon your death.  Christiansen Law Firm has extensive experience in helping people with their estate plan.  Contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio to schedule a free consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer. 

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