Do I need a Will? If so, What’s It All About?
Let’s start with the first question. Do you need a will? The answer is 1,000% YES! No matter what age you are, if you are married, have kids, or you live on a lonely island that you own out in the Bahamas, everyone needs a will. If you don’t have one, who gets the island?!
After a person dies, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made. Decisions ranging from funeral arrangements, what to do with your remains, along with who gets your property. Well, a will can take care of all of these decisions for you and give your family members time to grieve and celebrate your memory rather than making these hard decisions blindly.
Say you were to die today without a will and you never expressed to your family where you wanted to be buried or how you want your remains to be handled. How will they know your final wishes? On another note, let’s say you are a young bachelor, with a lot of property and you have an unfortunate scuba diving accident in Costa Rica? Who will get your property?? Well, the short answer is your family, but what if you haven’t spoken to your brother in years and all of a sudden, he gets dibs on your wonderful Bahama Island? Through the laws of Texas, he might just be able to if you don’t have a will. Either way, if you don’t have a will, it is a long tedious process your family will endure, along with the painful grieving process.
In Texas, we recognize two types of wills. First is what is known as a holographic will. For a holographic will to be recognized in Texas, it must be wholly in your handwriting, no typing at all, signed by you, dated, and it must show intent to be your last will and testament. For example, writing the words “this is my last will and testament” at the beginning of the document will suffice. There are a few other requirements, but this is the simple jest of a holographic will.
Secondly, the more formal version, that our office can draft for you, is what is known as a self-proving will. This type of will must be in writing (no oral wills are recognized), must be signed by you, and attested by two witnesses. Attested means the witnesses are confirming you are signing the document as your last will and testament. The witnesses cannot be named in the will as beneficiaries. Luckily for you at Guest and Gray we have your witnesses available for you!