While a will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have, there are some things it just won’t cover. A will is just one piece of a comprehensive estate plan.
A will is a legally binding statement directing who will receive your property upon your death. It is also the way you appoint a legal representative to carry out your bequests and name a guardian for your minor children. Without a will, your estate is distributed according to state law, rather than your wishes. Property distributed via a will must go through probate, which is the formal process through which a court determines how to distribute your property.
Although a will is one main way to transfer property upon death, it does not cover all property. The following are examples of property you cannot distribute through a will:
In addition to being unable to transfer certain types of property with a will, there are other provisions that you cannot use a will to accomplish. The following are examples of items that should not be included in a will:
A will is not the only component of your estate plan. It is crucial to meet with an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney to discuss your goals and discover which estate planning options can accomplish them. In many of the cases mentioned here, a trust may be the best option.
To learn more about how your estate planning needs can be accomplished, speak to a member of our team by calling our office at (281) 218-0880 or schedule a strategy session here.
Kimberly Hegwood is the Managing Attorney of Your Legacy Legal Care, a Houston estate planning law firm. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law in Texas, she represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including elder law, asset protection, estate planning, Medicaid crisis planning, probate, guardianship, and other estate planning practice areas.
Kimberly received her Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
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