If you live in Texas and you do not have many assets, you might assume that the state will distribute your assets to your next of kin in the same way that you would in a will. You might think that the provisions you have in place, such as joint titling all of your assets, are sufficient. However, a will can help reduce the likelihood that there will be confusion or unexpected issues and can make the process less difficult for your loved ones.
Appointing an executor and guardian
Two important functions of a will are appointing an executor to manage the estate and guardians for minor children. These are both easy to do in a will, but they become complex, costly and time-consuming if they must be done later in court even if the family is in agreement about who should take on these roles. The situation becomes even more complicated if there is conflict.
One advantage of having the executor in place is that there is often a small piece of property that is forgotten. For example, a landlord might return a deposit on a house. The executor can deal with these along with paying any creditors, filing taxes and other estate-related duties.
In Texas, how the state distributes your assets depends on how your surviving family members are related to you. With a will, you can be specific about who you want to get what assets.
It may be a good idea to work with an attorney to create a will and other estate planning documents. This can help reduce the chance that they are prepared incorrectly or that they are ambiguous. It can also give you the peace of mind that your wishes for your assets and loved ones are followed.