Wills Attorney in Colleyville, Texas
You have worked hard to build your legacy and provide for your family, but have you ever thought about what will happen to your property and assets when you are gone? Fortunately, you can take steps to preserve your legacy and ensure that your assets are distributed exactly as you wish. Creating a legally-binding will is one of those steps.
As a wills attorney at Brooks P. Lynn, Attorney at Law, I provide trusted advice and experienced guidance to clients in Colleyville, Texas, and throughout all of Tarrant County. I can work closely with you to help you create a will that suits your unique circumstances, needs, and goals.
What Are Wills?
A will (a Last Will and Testament) is a legal document that outlines your final wishes. An adult person who creates a will is called a testator. Typically, wills include provisions regarding the testator’s minor children, family members with special needs, and instructions for the distribution of the testator’s assets upon their death.
One of the primary reasons why people create a will is to determine how their assets will be distributed to their loved ones when they are gone. Texas law recognizes two types of wills:
Formal wills. A formal (simple) will is a document that you draft and sign in the presence of two witnesses aged 14 or older.
Holographic wills. A holographic (handwritten) will is a handwritten document that you prepare on your own and sign yourself.
The problem with holographic wills is that their validity may be disputed before or after the testator’s death. Either way, a will must be in writing (printed or handwritten) since Texas does not recognize oral wills.
The Benefits of Creating a Will
There are many advantages to having a will. Some of the common benefits of drafting a valid will include:
Make your wishes known to your family
Encourage your family members to not fight over your estate by including a "No Contest" clause in your will
Make sure that your minor children or family members with special needs are taken care of
Have complete control over who gets what in the event of your death (without a will, your assets will pass to heirs according to the laws of intestate succession)
Creating a will may seem like a daunting task, especially if you do not understand the legal requirements. That is why you should contact a wills attorney in Colleyville, Texas, to help you draft a valid and legally binding will.
Difference Between a Will & a Trust
Most estate plans are not complete without both a will and a trust. But what is the difference between the two key estate planning tools? Unlike a will, which specifies how you want your property to be handled in the event of your death, a trust is a legal document that gives a third party (the trustee) the authority to hold legal title to the trustor’s assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, and others during your lifetime as well as after your death.
Some of the key differences between a will and a trust include:
Effective date. A will takes effect after the testator’s death when the will is admitted to the Probate Court. A trust, on the other hand, becomes effective upon the transfer of your assets into the trust. The trustor still retains control of the assets that were transferred into the trust while they are alive.
Probate. Assets that were transferred into a trust will not go through probate because the trustor does not technically own those assets. With a will, there is no guarantee that probate will be avoided because the testator still owns all of their assets unless they create a transfer upon death deed or other form of survivorship agreement, which automatically transfers their assets to their named survivor beneficiary upon their death.
Every person’s situation is unique, which is why it can be difficult to know which one is best for you—a trust or a will. Discuss your specific situation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who will advise you on your best options.
How Can a Wills Attorney Help?
There are at least four reasons why you should consider hiring an experienced attorney to help you create a will:
You may not have time to learn everything on your own. The biggest problem with creating a will without an attorney is that you have to read a lot of information about creating a will to make sure that the document is valid and complies with all applicable laws.
An attorney will ensure that your will is legally binding. Every state has strict requirements for creating a will. An attorney will help you ensure that you draft and sign a document that will hold up in court.
An attorney can help you reduce the tax burden. A skilled attorney will educate you on the tax implications of your will and outline the different strategies for reducing the tax burden.
An attorney can help you update your will. Circumstances and family situations change over time, which is why there may be a need to update your will in the future.
If you need a will to protect your family and legacy, hire a reliable and knowledgeable attorney who can assist you with drafting a will.
Serving Colleyville, Texas
If you want to preserve your wealth and protect your loved ones, a wills attorney can help you make that happen. At Brooks P. Lynn, Attorney at Law, I offer personalized service to accomplish the goals of my clients in Colleyville, Texas and other cities in Tarrant County. Reach out to my office today to discuss your unique case and start working on your will.