How often should people give their Will a “Check-Up”?
This varies from person to person. However, we recommend that a person revise their will if any of the following events take place: marriage, divorce, chronic health condition diagnosis, business/home purchase, adoption, receipt of inheritance, etc.
What happens after someone who has a Will passes away? What is the process?
The Texas Probate Code will determine what happens to the property. There are various legal options depending on the size/value of the estate, the number of potential heirs, where the property is located, the type of property (i.e. real, personal, etc.), and how much time has elapsed since the decedent passed. Most likely, one of the potential heirs will have to file a probate application at the local probate court. It can be a very expensive process and multiple attorneys may have to be involved.
How long does it take to create a Will and is it expensive?
A simple will can be drafted within a few hours, but a tailored will may take a few days to complete. Clients will have to have their case individually analyzed by an attorney, the attorney will have to draft the will according to the client’s wishes, and a Will Ceremony will have to take place. The Will Ceremony involves the testator (person making the will), two disinterested witnesses, and a public notary.
Wills are fairly inexpensive, considering the fact that they will dictate how all of your property will be distributed upon your death.
Do I need an attorney to create a Will? Why not just use Legal Zoom or other online templates?
We do not recommend using a will template, since every person’s situation is unique. For example, we helped a couple that wanted to update their will after the husband was diagnosed with early signs of dementia. Their prior will was created using Legal Zoom.
We invited the couple to our office to review their will and noticed very serious flaws and mistakes. There were many issues with the standard Legal Zoom will, but a few issues that we identified were: failure to adequately identify the heirs, failure to make valid gifts/bequests, failure to adequately describe gifts, failure to add alternate executors/executrixes, and failure to contain a “Spendthrift Provision,” “Wills Not Contractual Provision”, and a “In Terrorem Clause”.
When people use Legal Zoom or an attorney that does not have experience drafting wills, they risk having a will that does not adequately address their intentions and wishes. Additionally, a will that is vague or does not contain certain legal provisions may have to be probated – and it can be costly.
What makes you different /unique/particularly suited to do this kind of work?
Our office has helped many individuals draft their wills. Whether you have a small estate or a large estate, we understand that every case should be handled with the highest level of professionalism.
Additionally, our office handles probate cases. This means that we have helped individuals when their loved ones died without a will. The probate process can be an emotional roller coaster that takes place at the probate court. It is an expensive process and money/property that the decedent left behind for their loved ones is used to pay for the probate-related fees.
For more information on Checking Up On Wills, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 777-1236 today. We have two convenient locations in north and south Houston, Texas.
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