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Understanding Wills

Montgomery County Estate Planning Lawyer

Creating a will is the first step in organizing and designing your estate plan. If you are a homeowner, business owner, parent, single or married, this legally binding document holds the instructions of for how you wish your estate to be distributed after you pass away. If you have a small to moderate sized estate, a simple will, also known as a “last will and testament” is enough to ensure your final wishes are carried out upon your death.

What if I Die Without a Will?

The state of Texas distributes a deceased individual’s property based on intestacy laws if they pass away without leaving behind a legally binding will. These laws indicate that the state is required to distribute your property to your closest living relatives starting with your spouse and then defaulting to your children. If you do not have a living spouse or children, the state will search for any remaining family members. If they are unable to find living relatives, the state will take your estate.

For “natural families,” the intestacy distribution based on state law follows what most people want as their distribution. However, if you have children from a prior relationship, the distribution of your assets often becomes quite complex and often has surprising results.

Key Aspects of Drafting a Will

Whether you are drafting a complex will, simple will or an ethical will, you will have the option to name beneficiaries. A beneficiary is someone you designate to receive your property or other assets. This person could be a family member, spouse, your children, a friend or even a charity or organization. When drafting your will, naming a trustworthy individual as your executor is also recommended. As executor, this person is responsible for managing and distributing your property according to the instructions outlined in your will.

You can include the following in your will:

  • Whom you choose to gift your assets
  • Guardianship of your minor children
  • Name who should manage property until your minor children come of age

Montgomery County Estate Planning Lawyer

Drafting a will is paramount, especially if you have minor children. At Dossey & Jones, PLLC, we have over four decades of experience helping residents of Montgomery and the surrounding areas with their estate planning needs.

Contact us today to schedule your first no obligation consultation.

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