Wills and Living Wills
A will is a legal document that directs the distribution of your assets after death. A will allows you to clearly and precisely communicate your wishes as to how and to whom you would like your estate to be divided. It is advisable for you to work with the San Antonio last will and testament lawyers of Allen & Roig, LLP, to create and update your will. Working with us will ensure that your plans are well-documented and are carried out exactly as you directed them.
Contents of the Will
In general a will includes:
- Designating an executor or representative who is responsible for carrying out the provisions within the will
- Naming the beneficiaries as those who are inheriting the assets
- Instructions for how and when the beneficiaries will receive the assets
- Guardians for any minor children
There are some types of assets within an estate that may already have named beneficiaries such as brokerage accounts, life insurance, and IRAs, and these can transfer directly without involving the will. For assets that do not allow for the naming of beneficiaries including some bank accounts and real estate, the will is the place to designate who will get those assets, as well as any special instructions.
If you die without a will, the state will decide how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries according to Texas laws. If you do not leave behind a will, this is known as dying intestate. The way the court will settle your estate may then not reflect what you would have wanted for your loved ones and survivors. Don’t allow this to happen by not having a will or the proper documents prepared, no matter what your age or circumstances might be.
Probate is a legal process for settling an estate, whether one has a will or not. Generally, an asset that allows a beneficiary to be designated will not have to go through probate. Those types of assets include those that are jointly owned with rights of survivorship, trusts, a 401K, brokerage accounts, and life insurance policies, so remember to always keep those beneficiaries up to date. Assets that pass through the will such as cash, real estate, and personal property must undergo the probate process. Probate is public record and anything that goes through probate does decrease the level of privacy of the estate.
Creating a medical power of attorney and directive (living will) is an important estate planning step. If you become unable to direct your own medical care because of illness, an accident, or advanced age, the right legal documents are your lifeline. A San Antonio living will attorney will explain all of the details of each and execute those for you.
To clarify, these are the two basic kinds of health care documents and both must be signed by witnesses and notarized:
- Medical power of attorney- naming a trusted person to direct your health care if you are unable to do so yourself
- Living will (directive)- defining to physicians, families, or surrogates, the types of medical treatment you would or would not like to receive in certain situations. Healthcare providers will consult your Texas living will if you are unable to make your own medical decisions.
Wills and Living Wills Attorneys in San Antonio, TX
While no one wants to think about end of life issues, no matter what your age or circumstances, the right planning and documentation will give you great peace of mind and confidence to go ahead and live your life, rather than worrying about the end of it. Contact Allen & Roig, LLP today. We will help you organize the proper documentation, ensuring that your personal and financial affairs will be handled according to your wishes. Call (210) 377-2529 Today!