Articles Tagged with DIY estate planning

Individuals who are considering drafting a will should consult with a Houston attorney to ensure that their document is legally binding and effectively communicates their wishes. Wills provide representatives and loved ones with crucial guidance on how to name executors, appoint guardians for children and pets, and distribute property after someone dies. Many people fail to create wills or attempt to draft these documents themselves; however, doing so can lead to many issues and conflicts. You should contact an experienced Houston area estate planning attorney to ensure that your final wishes are properly executed.

Each state has specific requirements that a will must comply with to be legally binding. In Texas, wills are valid if the testator is at least 18-years-old, of sound mind, and there were at least two credible witnesses present at the signing. In cases where the will is oral, there must be three credible witnesses. Many Texans believe that drafting a will is sufficient to make it legally binding; however, there are often additional documents and notary signatures that must be executed. Some documents include, but are not limited to, healthcare power of attorney designations, financial power of attorney designations, and disposition of remains and property directives.

Individuals who chose to write their own wills often fail to meet all of the requirements that make a will binding. Wills should include the appropriate language, correct signatures, and account for any property or possessions that people may fight over. Although, do-it-yourself and handwritten wills might be valid, they often create challenges for loved ones as the will passes through probate court.

Couple paintingPeople have many options today for creating their own estate planning documents. Forms can be purchased quickly from websites and books. However, trying to create your own estate plan can actually be more expensive than hiring an attorney.

Everyone knows that attorneys can be expensive. This is just as true for estate planning attorneys as it is for other types of attorneys. An entire industry has sprung up to give consumers a cheaper option for some supposedly routine legal matters, like estate plans. Forms are available for downloading online that promise buyers they just need to read the instructions and fill in the blanks to create their own wills and trusts.

One major problem with these services is when estate planning is not done properly it is much more expensive to fix things than it would have been to hire an attorney to do things right in the first place.

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