Estate Planning Lawyer
You may have heard of a will and thought “This can wait, I don’t need to deal with it now ”, then don’t worry, you are not the only one! According to statistics from AARP, only 4 in 10 American adults have a will. While older adults appear to be the leading group to have a will, it is crucial for any adult to start estate planning in any emergency. Even though it is more common as people age for them to face thoughts of what would happen to their assets if they were to pass away, it is crucial for people who are younger as well.
Estate Planning Early
According to AARP, the main reasons people fail to tackle estate planning early on is because they have simply not gotten around to it or they do not have enough assets to leave to anyone. With this being said, settling an estate without a will makes it a more tedious process, and have to follow intestacy laws, these state that your assets will be distributed to your closest relatives. So if you are married and have children, this means that your community property will be divided equally between your surviving spouse and all of your descendants. During a difficult time, this can create stress for a surviving spouse having to live without their other half and dealing with their children and on top of that having to make decisions on your behalf since your wishes were not previously drafted. On the contrary, if you are not married at the time and have no children, it will be divided between your parents and/or siblings, depending on if the parents are deceased at the time the person has deceased. Estate Code 201.057 says that if we are dealing with half-siblings and full-blooded siblings, then half-siblings only qualify for only half of the share that a full-blooded relative is entitled to. However, if you only have half-siblings, then they get the full-blooded relative share. The Laws of Survivorship state that a relative must outlive you by a minimum of 120 hours in order to inherit under the laws of intestate succession. If someone were to pass away and then their sister passed away 98 hours after, they are considered predeceased and their estate can not inherit from their sibling’s estate. However, if the sister passed 150 hours after the deceased’s passing, their estate is entitled to their share.
This can raise issues since the living do not exactly what you want to do with your assets, which can lead to ways that were never anticipated or wanted and can cause hostility among your loved ones. If you have an estranged sibling or an illegitimate child, then this can lead to them gaining assets you never wanted them to inherit. Regardless of your status with them socially, under the law, they are considered your relatives, therefore, leaving them to be entitled to your assets. It is important for anyone to have a will, even if it is a piece of paper you have written on. A holographic will is only valid if it is written in your own handwriting and no one else can have written it nor can any part of it be typed. Although it is far more beneficial to have a will drafted by an attorney since you have to follow an exact format and include every part of an ordinary will which if you are not going by legal guidance can be difficult. A holographic will should only be used in more emergency situations and not a replacement for an official will that is curated with an estate planning lawyer.
No one likes to think about when they pass, but it is a natural stage of life that we all will eventually get to. It is crucial to get a will at any stage of your life to ensure that your assets are going to be properly handled when you are no longer here to handle them. Getting with an attorney from our friends at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. will help make sure your will is valid and ready to go for when that day arrives.