3 Issues That Can Come Up if You Neglect an Estate Plan

A common misconception about estate planning says that a surviving spouse will receive all of the property and possessions from the deceased. Not only is this not true, but according to the Texas State Legislature, only a probate court can determine how property is distributed if no will exists. This means that, after you pass, and without a will, you will have no say in who inherits your belongings. If you’re thinking about foregoing a will, consider the following risks and how your loved ones might be affected.

Property Distribution

Without a will, a probate court judge primarily focuses on spouses, ex-spouses, and children to be named as beneficiaries. A probate court classifies all the possessions and determines them to be either separate or community property and possessions.

Then, because each family is different, a judge can determine that:

  • If distributing separate property, a spouse may receive a third of belongings while children receive the rest.
  • If distributing community property, a spouse will receive half, and the children receive the rest.
  • Only children will receive belongings if the deceased was never married at the time of death.

The Care of Children

When it comes to appointing a guardian for underage children, a court will make the decision if there is no will. A probate court considers closest living relatives as guardians or any court-approved individual.

Medical Care

Without a will, if you happen to be physically or mentally incapacitated, then a probate court will appoint a healthcare guardian. A few decisions that this person may make on your behalf include:

  • Hiring additional legal representation to maintain your estate.
  • Advocating for your well-being if there happen to be disagreements about your care amongst your family.

Don’t Wait to Draft a Will!

Although drafting or updating a will may seem like a long-term process, it will be worth meeting with our estate planning lawyers as early as possible. Contact our lawyers in McAllen to get started today.

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