Is A Will Useful For People Without Many Assets?
If you’re not a high-net-worth individual, you may think that you’re not quite ready to have a will drafted. This may be especially true if you’re in your twenties or thirties, unmarried, and have no children.
However, nearly every adult Texan should at least consider having a will or estate plan drafted by a knowledgeable attorney.
This article will discuss the two primary reasons why this is so:
- You do own some property, and you do have some idea what you’d like done with it after you pass.
- You may have minor children in need of guardianship.
Additionally, you also might prefer to make these decisions yourself. Unless you’d rather have the State of Texas’ probate system decide for you.
High Net Worth vs. No Net Worth and Texas Wills
Everyone owns property of high, moderate, or low value – but rarely of no value at all. Regardless of the Blue Book value of your used Camry or the Overstreet Guide value of your tattered copy of Swamp Thing #1, you might have a preference as to who obtains these things after your death.
A will drafted by a competent Texas estate planning attorney ensures your bequests are honored.
Without a will, your assets are distributed according to the various provisions of the Texas Estates Code depending on whether or not you’re married, have children, only have parents, or none or some of the above.
Having a Will drafted will make things simple not just for you—but for your loved ones, later.
Passing Without a Will: The Texas Probate System and Your Assets
If you pass away “intestate,” without a will, the distribution of your assets are governed by the Texas Estates Code. This means that your wife and kids from a prior marriage may be the owners of your home after your death.
Depending upon whether your asset is “real property” (real estate, land, ownership interest in a timeshare, etcetera) or “personal” property (everything not attached to land than can be owned), your assets are distributed to your heirs, depending on their relationship to you.
If you have a spouse and children, these relations will take first from your estate. If not, or just one or the other, or none, the Texas distribution formula grows more complex the more remote a relation is to you.
Likely, no one really wants to have to go to probate court to argue about that copy of Swamp Thing #1. In leaving a proper will, you’ll be doing everyone a favor.
Minor Children in Texas Wills
If you do have minor children, drafting a Will is vital even if you arguably have no assets at all. A Texas will is the instrument you need to name an executor of your estate and guardian for children.
The care of your minor children is the most serious decision you will ever make in an estate plan.
We all have family members or friends that we believe would most closely pass the values that we hold dear to our children on our behalf, as well as keeping them warm and well-fed and well-educated through a difficult transition.
We all also have family members about whom we believe the complete opposite.
This is not something that a probate court should decide for you.
Every Texan should consider having a Will drafted by an experienced estate planning and probate attorney. Especially in Richardson, Plano, Frisco, Wylie, Garland, Sachse, McKinney, or other areas of the Dallas metroplex. Attorney Ana Pace provides 45 minute free consultations to discuss your estate planning needs.
However, it is more likely that the drafting of a Will is going to be a worthwhile means of protecting your loved ones, their peace of mind—and the assets that you do own.
Don’t wait to contact an attorney to draft a will. Take care of your estate planning now before something catastrophic happens. In addition to a Will, there are other estate planning tools to save your family headaches and money. One example is a transfer on death deed.