IN CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS
Providing for your family after you pass away involves establishing a will. Without a will, there is no guarantee that your family and loved ones will inherit from your estate. To ensure your family is taken care of and your legacy is passed on, you should begin the estate planning process.
At Russell Manning Attorney at Law, I am determined to help my clients establish the best estate planning arrangements for their families. With over 30 years of experience, I am prepared to help you through difficult family situations that may arise. I proudly serve clients in Corpus Christi, Texas, throughout South Texas, the Coastal Bend area, Bee County, Kleberg County, Nueces County, and the nearby areas.
OVERVIEW OF WILLS
Drafting a will is a key task that must be done to take care of your family and ensure your legacy after your passing.
A will is a document directing how you wish your estate, including your property and assets, to be distributed after your death. Within a will, you must name an executor of your estate who will carry out your wishes. If you have any debts, the will must direct how those debts are paid.
TYPES OF WILLS
There are several types of wills that range in legality.
A holographic will is written and signed by the testator (the person who wishes to distribute his or her estate); however, it is not witnessed. It can be more difficult for this type of will to be legally recognized and enforced.
A pour-over will is used in combination with a trust.
A mutual will is typically used by a married couple and can be used to ensure that the estate passes to the deceased’s children rather than to a new spouse. These wills are complex and usually require the guidance of a legal representative.
A testamentary will is a traditional will that is signed by the testator in the presence of official witnesses. Typically when an estate planning attorney drafts this type of will in accordance with Texas laws, it becomes a legally sound document for ensuring your wishes regarding your estate are respected after your passing.
CONTENT OF THE WILL
In the content of your will, you can direct exactly how your assets and personal property will be distributed. You can specify who you would like to receive certain assets, and you can also direct that some of your assets be donated to charity.
COMMONLY INHERITED ASSETS
All of your assets should be considered when you establish your will. Commonly inherited assets include bank balances, investments, life insurance policies, IRAs, and real estate property.
WHY HAVING A WILL IS IMPORTANT
Who needs a will? Essentially, anyone who wants to care for his or her family or loved ones needs a will. There are two key reasons why it is critically important to have a will. Ultimately, your will is important for the protection of your family and your legacy.
WITHOUT A WILL, THE STATE DECIDES
When an individual passes away without a will, their death is considered intestate. That means that the state can choose how to distribute the individual’s assets. The state uses a preset formula in determining who will receive what from your estate.
If you would like any influence on how your property is distributed after your passing, you must have the appropriate estate planning documents in place.
A will is beneficial when it comes to the probate process. The probate process is how the state handles your estate after your passing. During the probate process, the court makes sure that your wishes are followed according to your will. Without a will, the probate process could take months or even years. Your family could end up not receiving your assets for years after your death.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A WILL AND A TRUST
The benefits of a will are clear, but you may have heard that a trust is a better estate planning tool than a will. However, which is the better tool will depend on your specific situation. It’s important to speak with a knowledgeable Texas estate planning attorney to be confident that you’re making the right choice.
A trust can be beneficial when it comes to certain estate tax situations. Trusts are also preferable in that they may help your family avoid the probate process. If you have a revocable living trust, you may still need a pour-over will.
WILLS ATTORNEY SERVING CORPUS CHRISTI & SOUTH TEXAS
Ensure your wishes are respected after your passing. As an experienced estate planning attorney, I am dedicated to looking closely at your unique situation and guiding you through the legal process. At my firm, Russell Manning Attorney at Law, I am proud to represent clients in Corpus Christi, Texas, throughout South Texas, the Coastal Bend area, Bee County, Kleberg County, Nueces County, and the nearby areas. Contact my firm today to schedule your consultation.