A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that grants an individual, the testator, the opportunity to share their final wishes for the distribution of their assets and the handling of their affairs after their death. This document is often referred to simply as a will.
Listed below are some key components of a Last Will and Testament:
- Appointment of an Executor: In most cases, an executor will be designated to carry out the instructions outlined in the will. The executor’s role includes managing the estate, paying debts and taxes, and distributing assets to the beneficiaries. In many cases, a member of the family will be assigned the role of executor, however, you can also hire a professional executor to carry out your final wishes.
- Asset Distribution: The will outlines precisely how the testator’s assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal belongings, and other property, should be distributed upon their death. The beneficiaries can be individuals, organizations, or charitable entities, and their shares or portions of the estate are outlined in the will.
- Care of Minor Children: If the testator has children under the age of 18, the will can appoint a guardian to care for them in the event of the testator’s death. This works to ensure that the children’s well-being and upbringing are determined according to the testator’s wishes. If a parent does not have a will, courts will step in and make decisions for the children’s care, which may not always promote the best interest of the child.
- Funeral and Burial Instructions: A will may include instructions regarding funeral arrangements, burial or cremation preferences, and any specific wishes or requests the testator has for their final arrangements.
Requirements for a Will to Be Valid
In Texas, a Will must satisfy specific requirements to be a legally binding document. The Texas Estates Code and case law provide requirements for handwritten Wills, typed Wills, and fill-in-the-blank Wills. Requirements for these types of Wills vary greatly.
Do Not Wait to Begin Planning for the Future
To ensure that your Last Will and Testament accurately reflects your wishes and complies with Texas legal requirements, it is advisable to consult with an estate planning attorney when creating or updating your will.
Why Choose Attorney Brown for Your Estate and Probate Needs?
With nearly two decades of experience, Principal Attorney Christy K. Brown is a No-Nonsense, Forward-Thinking, and Result-Oriented probate and estate planning lawyer, and she’s committed to handling each of her clients’ concerns equally, creatively, relentlessly and in a personal way from the first meeting. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you through the estate planning process.