Do you know what Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, and Prince had in common?
If your guess is they all died without leaving a will, you’re right. Of course, some people are still surprised by this. After all, famous people have access to the best estate planning and probate lawyers. Why wouldn’t they make preparations well in advance when they know that large sums of money are at stake?
The thing is having an estate plan isn’t just for the rich or old. Everyone can benefit from estate and probate planning. That being said, let’s talk about the importance of settling your estate, plus what you should know about probate in Texas.
Top Reasons Why You Should Have an Estate Plan
Some people will put off estate planning for different reasons. Maybe they don’t want to think about death or perhaps, they believe it’s only for rich people.
There are also those who know why estate planning and probate are necessary, but they don’t see any reason to do it asap. They feel they can just do it before they die or if they somehow failed to write a will, their families will know what to do with their things.
Here’s the truth, though. It’s never too early to start planning your estate, but it can be too late. A detailed estate plan will ensure your loved ones will be taken care of when you die or become incapacitated. All your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, and you may even help your family minimize taxes and probate fees.
Now, if you’re not sure where to start, you have two options: DIY and hiring a probate lawyer. For convenience and to make sure you don’t leave out anything important, which might result in more court and legal fees down the line, it’s best to work with an estate planning and probate attorney.
Estate and Probate Planning in Texas: The Basics
Compared to other states, Texas probate is simpler, thanks to the court structure in Texas. This is because Texas provides for independent administration of estates. That means once a list of assets has been filed, the approved administrator or executor can distribute said assets without court supervision. As for estate planning, the required documents include a will, a durable power of attorney for finances, a living will, and a medical power of attorney.
Without these documents, however, your family may have to go through probate. There are exceptions, though, to keep in mind.
One example is when the deceased’s estate is less than $75,000. In this case, those who stand to inherit only need to prepare a simple affidavit.
Want to Know More About Estate Planning Trust and Probate Law?
Now that you understand some things about estate and probate planning in Texas, make sure you don’t stop here.
For more tips and advice on estate plans and probate, feel free to browse our Law Archives. We also have articles on other interesting topics such as business, marketing, finance, home and garden, fashion and beauty, and so on. Keep checking back as we continue to update these sections.