There are a lot of myths floating out there about wills, trusts, and probate. By the way, what IS probate? Read on to learn more.
#1. I don’t need a will. I am married, and my spouse automatically gets everything.
This is not necessarily true. As a resident of Texas, if you die without a will in Texas, the State writes your will for you. Depending on your family circumstances, your spouse may not even own the house after your death. In addition, you may also have community and separate property and mixed marriage issues that need to be discussed with an estate planning attorney to ensure that your family can administer your estate efficiently.
#2. I don’t have an estate. Also known as, only rich people have an estate.
Your house, your car, your retirement account, as well as your bank accounts are some of the things that can make up your estate. All of these things need to be incorporated into your Will and beneficiary designations so that they will go to the people that you want to receive them.
#3. So, all I need is a Will, right?
A Will, if properly drafted and executed, can aid in protecting your family at your death. Your family can also be better protected by legally planning for accidents that leave you unable to care for yourself and for them. In addition to helping you prepare for death, an estate planning attorney can also help you and your family be ready for an unexpected incapacitation.
#4. I wrote my own trust through a legal self-help website, and my family will not have to probate my estate.
While it is true that a Revocable Living Trust can be used to avoid probate, more than simply downloading a trust document and signing it in front of a notary is required to use a trust to bypass probate. Funding of a trust and coordinating assets with your trust is essential to avoiding probate.
#5. I have all of my planning in place. I am set for the rest of my life.
You are already ahead of more than 70% of people in Texas if you have a will. However, circumstances change over the years, and your estate plan needs to be reviewed and potentially revised to make sure that the choices you made years ago are still what you want. It is a good idea to have your plan reviewed every 5-10 years or when someone close to you passes away.
Proper planning allows for easier and less expensive administration of assets during your life and after your passing. Call (512) 655-2186 to schedule your appointment today to talk with an estate planning attorney about your wishes. Your future is our business.