Wills & Estate Planning

Wills & Power Of Attorney in Denton, Texas

In today’s busy and hectic world, it’s easy to postpone planning for your family’s future. With a few steps and some advanced planning, you can protect your loved ones from complicated financial and legal issues.  Developing an estate plan does not have to be an intimidating process. A well drafted document can often times help avoid disputes later on while potentially saving your family a lot of money.  Our lawyers will meet with you — in person or via phone — to discuss your goals. We will review your financial information and properties, then develop a plan that protects your assets, passes your estate to the appropriate people, establishes guardians for minor children and ensures that your end-of-life health care wishes are communicated.

A will protects your property and can especially be helpful if you want to distribute your property to people other than your relatives. Without a will, state law dictates the distribution of your property. The default plan normally distributes property to relatives. An attorney familiar with Texas state laws can legally draft a will that is valid and stands up in court. In Texas, state law mandates the required elements of a legally valid will, including the signatures of at least two witnesses.

What happens if someone dies without a will?

State law uses a default will for anyone who dies without a will. Typically, the spouse and children of the person who died inherit the property. If there is no spouse and no children, the decedent’s parents take the property, followed by siblings, grandparents, and children of the grandparents. If no relative can be found, the property eventually belongs to the state. Note, though, that as part of the probate process, the decedent’s creditors lay claim to the property after certain allowances for spouse and children. Dying without a will is a much more expensive process than probating a valid will.  Having a valid will can potentially save your family thousands of dollars.

What Is A Simple Estate Plan?

You need more than a will. At the Coffey Haynes, P.C., our simple will package includes a variety of estate planning tools:

  • Last will and testament — Designate your heirs and determine what happens to your property.
  • Medical power of attorney — Name a trusted individual to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to communicate.
  • Durable power of attorney — Name an agent to manage your finances if you are unable to do so.
  • Living will — Communicate your wishes regarding the use of artificial life support.
  • Designation of guardianship — Name a guardian to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated, and name guardians to care for minor children.
  • HIPAA authorization – Name one or more persons the ability to access your private healthcare and financial information.

As estate plan acts as a safety net.

It ensures that your final wishes are respected, streamlines the probate process and reduces the possibility of intrafamily fighting. Other benefits include:

  • Letting you to decide who gets what
  • Setting up a system so your minor children can inherit
  • Preventing issues from cropping up if you are married and have children from a previous relationship
  • Ensuring that your financial obligations and health care needs are met

What is a Will?

Under Texas law, a Testamentary Will (commonly called just a “will”) is the legal document which allows you to make a number of decisions which will take place upon your death. Those decisions include disposing of your assets, appointing who you wish to be the legal Guardians of any minor children that you have, appointing an Executor to manage your estate as it makes its way through the Probate process, and so on. A Testamentary Will takes effect upon the death of the Testator, that is, the person who made the Will.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact us at 940-591-6473 to schedule an initial consultation.

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