Wills

Why do you need a will? It is vitally important that everyone have a will as security for the future so that you will know that in the event of your death, your assets and your estate will be left to your desired beneficiaries. A will provides a clear explanation of how you would like your assets distributed and children cared for after your death. A comprehensive will can ensure that you avoid problems during probate or disputes between family members over individual assets.

Some of the problems with not having a will are as follows:

1. If you should die without a will, your property and assets will descend by the laws of descent and distribution in Texas. In other words, your assets/property may be inherited by relatives or heirs not of your choosing.

2. We have seen many cases involving the following scenario: A husband or wife dies leaving a surviving spouse. The couple was married for a very long time, perhaps 45 to 50 years. They have grown children born during their marriage, however, the spouse who died had a child or children from a previous marriage or relationship. Many times it is the intent of the spouse who died to leave all of their assets/property to their surviving spouse. However, when you die without a will, under this scenario, the surviving spouse is not entitled to receive any of their spouse's interest in the property and assets acquired during the marriage. The laws of descent and distribution in this state require that the decedent's interest in all of the assets acquired during the marriage pass to all surviving children whether born of the marriage or during a previous marriage or relationship. Obviously, the results of not having a will in this situation can be tragic.

3. If you wish to disown, disinherit or exclude or limit a gift to anyone, they may nevertheless receive the asset or property if you do not make a will. To avoid this, you must put it in a will, or your requests and wishes will not be honored.

We offer a full-service will package, including a durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and advanced medical directive (living will) that is affordable and meets the needs of most individuals desiring a will.

A durable power of attorney can be an effective way for you to avoid some or all of the burdens of guardianship. If you were to become incapacitated, which means you are no longer able to manage or take care of your financial and property interests, you may find yourself being placed in a court-ordered guardianship so that a guardian can take care of your assets for you. The drawback to a guardianship is that it is very expensive in terms of legal fees and court costs and the probate court maintains some continued oversight over the guardianship so long as it is in existence. In addition, fees have to be paid for bonds, investigations and related costs. One can avoid the expense of a guardianship by making a durable power of attorney appointing someone to act as their attorney in fact, in dealing with their assets and property interests. It allows that person to transfer, sell, invest, mortgage and do all other acts that you yourself would be able to do with your property and assets. Typically, the power of attorney would then be used by your loved one who is appointed to act in your stead when you become incapacitated and are unable to handle your own business affairs.

At the Law Office of Craig A. Patton, we can help you prepare a will, powers of attorney, or other documents that clearly state your intentions and desires. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

West Texas Lawyer

At the Law Office of Craig A. Patton, our philosophy is to furnish our clients with the highest standard of legal services available, while keeping financial and emotional expenditures to a minimum. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, please contact us.

The material contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as the dissemination of legal advice to anyone by the Law Office of Craig A. Patton. You should always seek the advice of an attorney, who can review and ascertain your legal needs and recommend a proper course of action regarding your situation.