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Why is a will important?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | Estate Planning

Over the course of your life, you will likely accumulate several assets of value. Some of these assets will be sentimental in nature (e.g., jewelry or artwork), while others will be strictly financial (e.g., retirement accounts).

As you get older, you may start thinking about who to leave these assets to once you have passed away. Wills and other estate planning tools can make the process of transferring your assets after your death much easier.

What is included in a will?

The contents of a will may vary depending on the needs of the testator, or creator of the will. Generally, your will should include:

  • Your personal information (name, state where you reside, etc.).
  • Declaration that you are of sound mind and that you intend for this document to be your last will and testament.
  • The name of an executor to manage your estate.
  • A bequest clause naming your beneficiaries and specifying who will get which assets.
  • A residuary clause specifying who will get any assets that are not specifically addressed in your estate plan.
  • A guardianship clause specifying who will serve as legal guardian of your minor children, if you have any. You may also name a backup in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve when the time comes.
  • An attestation clause, signed by witnesses who attest to the validity of the will and that it was signed by you.

The benefits of having a will

While you are not legally required to have a will, most experts agree that having a will can make things much easier for your beneficiaries, particularly if you have a larger estate.

A valid will can save your beneficiaries from having to go through a potentially costly and time-consuming probate process. A will also helps ensure that your wishes are respected when you are gone.

Without a will, the government will decide what happens to your estate based on Texas intestacy laws.

A will is an important part, if not the most important part, of the estate planning process. If you need help creating your will or with other parts of the estate planning process, you should consider meeting with an attorney in your area.