One of the most important parts of the probate process involves the will and trust of the deceased person. This area of law is all too often filled with conflict and strong emotions, which is especially true if the person who passed away didn’t properly prepare their will and trust. Approximately 55% of Americans do not have will in place, meaning that their friends, family, loved ones, and the court are left to figure out a solution.

The Importance of a Will

While many attorneys will convince you that you need a will to make sure that your loved ones receive the property that you want to pass on to them, there are actually several practical reasons for having a will in place. Some of these includes:

  • You can minimize estate taxes. Anything you give away to family members will reduce the value of your estate, which can lower the amount of estate taxes you (or your loved ones) have to pay.
  • You have control over who raises your children. Many individuals forget that a will can appoint who will take care of their minor children. If you don’t have one in place when you pass, it is entirely up to the court what happens to your children. Do you have someone in mind that you do not want raising your children? Having a will in place can make sure that doesn’t happen.
  • You can give gifts and make donations. Especially if you have a large estate and few people you want to divide your assets among, writing in your will that you’d like to make a donation can make sure that your wealth is put to good use. If you have a charity that you’re particularly passionate about or a cause that you’d love to help out, having a will in place allows you to get involved, even after you pass.
  • You can make life easier for your loved ones after you pass. There are several steps your loved ones will have to follow in the probate process, all while they try to mourn your death. Whether or not you have a will, your estate must go through the probate process. With a will in place, you can speed up this process and remove the complications that your family will otherwise be stuck with.
  • You can leave items for loved ones — and exclude others from the will. Death has a way of bringing forth estranged relatives and neglectful loved ones. With a will, you can leave part of your estate to immediate family members, cherished friends, and people who generally benefitted your life. It can also keep your estate out of the hands of greedy and manipulative people who caused you nothing but grief.

Don’t wait too late to have a proper will in place

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A Key Point to Remember

With all the benefits listed above, it’s important to remember that you can always change your mind with your will. We all know that things change every day, and if you create a will and then want to add or remove people from it, you can change it to reflect your current wishes.

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Will and Trust Attorney in Plano, Texas

Thomas H. Keen is a lifelong Texan with extensive litigation experience dealing with a variety of civil issues. He has represented local and national banks, insurance companies, and private and public corporations in the state of Texas for more than 30 years. Thomas holds the highest peer ratings from Martindale-Hubbell in areas including quality and ethics. Whether you’re seeking legal representation concerning real estate, business transactions, probate, or wills and trusts, your case will receive Thomas’ personal attention.