Many people have the mistaken impression that court action is not required to transfer money, property and belongings owned by a loved one after his or her death. Depending on the value of the assets owned by the decedent and the extent of estate planning completed before his or her death, this is often a costly mistake.
At Baker & Baker Attorneys at Law, we provide compassionate and knowledgeable guidance from the planning stage through the probate and asset distribution process. So that you understand what needs to be done and why, our attorneys explain the relevant portions of the Texas Estates Code and the steps you need to take.
Common Myths About Wills And Probate
The following comments are heard frequently, but are not true:
- Myth: I do not need to have a will until I am old or sick. Reality: The healthier you are when the will is written, the less likely it may be challenged after you are gone.
- Myth: I do not need a will because I do not own very much. Reality: Most people underestimate the value of their assets and if you own a home or have minor children, you need to have a will.
- Myth: If I have a will, I will need to file it right away. Reality: Wills are not "filed" for probate until after death, but the county probate clerk's office will hold the will for safekeeping for a nominal annual fee.
- Myth: If I have a will, then probate is unnecessary. Reality: Probate is necessary to give the will legal effect after death.
- Myth: I do not need a will because my spouse will automatically get everything we own together. Reality: Land, including your home, does not automatically transfer to the surviving spouse. During your lifetime, specific steps must be taken so that bank accounts and other financial assets (such as life insurance and retirement funds) transfer to people or charities of your choosing.
Do not make any assumptions about wills or the probate process. Specific legal steps must be taken so that your loved ones get what you want them to receive after you are gone.
Seek Legal Help From An Experienced Corpus Christi Lawyer
At Baker & Baker, we provide experienced legal assistance with probate and estate administration, guiding you through the process and making certain that assets are distributed as your loved one desired.
To discuss your estate administration or probate concerns, contact Baker & Baker at 361-371-4133.