If you’ve stayed updated with the news, you may have considered drafting a will. Fortunately, you can prepare a will from the comfort of your home. However, we suggest you speak with an estate planning lawyer at Fryer and Hansen to perfect your will. When a will is under review during the probate process, small errors can prevent your loved ones from receiving your possessions.
Consider using these three estate planning tips to make your will as valid as possible.
Choose an Executor
The term “executor” is given to someone you choose to manage your estate. If you don’t include an executor in your will, a probate court has full authority to select someone for you. This may go against your last wishes.
An executor is responsible for:
- Collecting inventory of your possessions.
- Paying off debts and taxes with the estate’s funds.
- Notifying creditors and beneficiaries of the probate hearing.
Consider the Size of Your Estate Plan
Before you draft a will, consider the size of your estate. A probate court reviews your will and all of your possessions. However, some of your belongings cannot be distributed through a will. These are known as non-probate assets. Without proper guidance from an estate planning lawyer, you could draft your will incorrectly.
Some possessions considered non-probate assets include:
- Stocks and bonds
- Joint bank accounts
Choose a Will Type
Legally, you are not required to use an estate planning lawyer. However, you can avoid many errors by hiring one. A will can be deemed ‘invalid’ during the probate process if not written clearly. According to Texas Estate Codes, a valid will is:
- Written entirely and signed by your hand.
- It is typewritten and signed by you and a witness in front of two additional witnesses.
Get Professional Advice
Don’t delay in getting your affairs in order. Contact our estate planning lawyers to review or draft your will. We also draft trust and powers of attorney documents for your estate plan.