You’re the family’s main protector and provider, and that means doing everything in your power to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of in the future – even if you can’t be with them.
That’s why having your last will and testament and other estate plans in order is so necessary. While nobody enjoys contemplating a world that goes on without them, having your will prepared is crucial when it comes to making sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your family is safe and secure in the event you unexpectedly pass away.
1. It stops the government from taking control of your estate
If you die without a will, or “intestate,” the state of Texas will take control of your estate and distribute any assets that you have according to its own statutory formula. This could leave some of your family with far fewer resources than you intended. This is particularly true in blended families, where relationships can be very complicated. You may feel, for example, that your stepchildren are equal to your biological children, but they wouldn’t inherit anything from you under intestacy rules.
2. It can speed up the probate process
Unless you decide to take advantage of estate planning strategies that will avoid it, you can generally expect your will to go through probate. Without a will, that process can be very lengthy. With a will in place, the court doesn’t have to go through the laborious process of deciding how the estate should be administered. Absent any problems, the court can authenticate the will, approve your executor and get things moving so that your spouse and children are able to access the funds they need sooner.
3. It can reduce the stress and grief of your loved ones
Finally, a will makes coping with your loss easier on your loved ones. You can include directives that divide up your personal mementos (which can stop your heirs from fighting over them) and specify things like your preferences for either a cremation or burial. Having the decisions made and written down takes a lot of pressure off your spouse’s shoulders.
If you don’t have your estate plans together, it’s time to find out more from a skilled legal professional.