Do you want to create your will? Are you not quite sure where to begin? In Texas, writing a will and making sure it aligns with the legal requirements can be a tricky process. There are several procedural hurdles to overcome, and when your loved ones’ well-being is on the line, you want to make sure everything is done correctly. On today’s blog, we offer a step-by-step guide on how to create a will in Houston to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Step 1: Start Early!
The best piece of advice we can offer in creating a will is to start drafting early. Life is full of the unexpected, and it is never too early to make sure your loved ones are protected. Even if you do not feel as if you have significant assets to leave behind, writing a will can make sure that your loved ones do not have to deal extensively with the probate courts after you are gone, which will save them time, money, and emotional stress.
Step 2: Consult with an Attorney
Some courts might accept a will that is drafted and signed without the involvement of an attorney. To make sure everything is above board, though, we strongly recommend speaking with an attorney who can help you make sure there are no issues with the probate courts after you are gone.
Step 3: Make the Tough Decisions
You will need to decide what property to include in your will and who will inherit the property that you leave behind. For most estate plans, you will also have to choose who will be the executor of your estate – this could be a family member, a friend, or anyone that you trust to handle your matters as you would want them to be handled.
If you have children under 18, you will also want to name a guardian who could care for the children in the event of your death.
Step 4: Sign Your Will
You will eventually need to sign your will, and there must be two witnesses to witness your signature. In Texas, to validly sign a will, you must 1) be of sound mind and 2) meet one of the following requirements: be at least 18 years of age, be married or previously married, or be a member of the armed forces. You do not need to notarize your will, but there are benefits to getting the will notarized if you want to make sure the probate courts accept the documents without any complications.
Are You on the Lookout for an Estate Planning Attorney in Houston?
If you are looking to draft your will, give us a call at McCulloch & Miller. Our Houston estate planning attorneys specialize in offering empathetic, holistic legal services because we understand just how much our clients care about their loved ones. For a consultation with a member of our legal team, call today at 713-936-9073. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about yourself and have someone reach back out to you as soon as possible.