The short answer is “no”. That being said, we are living in a time of unprecedented change, and many are having to reconsider things we once thought we didn’t need to worry about right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has people taking action to ensure their affairs are in order in the event of the inevitable. If you die intestate (without a will), your heirs will inherit your property, according to Texas statutes for intestate distribution. For example, surviving spouses inherit their deceased spouses’ community property. But what if your deceased spouse owned separate property? Well, under Texas law, the distribution may be different than that of community property, depending on the makeup of the family. Do you know for sure who gets what after you die? If not, maybe you need a will.
You could research Texas laws on intestate distribution and try to figure out who might get what after you die, but why not spend that precious energy on something more productive and proactive? Why not put down on paper exactly who should get what? Not sure where to start? Then it’s time to see a professional. That professional is your local estate planning attorney.
An attorney can walk you through the process of estate planning, from simple to robust estates, from “leave it all to Jimmy” to a detailed list of specific bequests. An estate planning attorney can ask questions and lend advice based on your answers. An estate planning attorney can answer your questions about how to best protect your assets from taxes, who would be a good candidate to be in charge of your estate, and whether or not you need to set up a trust. An estate plan can give you peace of mind and provide clear instruction to those you leave behind. When your wishes are in writing, your family does not have to guess (or fight) about what you would have wanted (or what they want). It is spelled out in black and white for all prosperity. Literally.
If you have not thought about drafting a will, now’s the time. So think about it. Do you need a will? What if the unexpected arrives, will you be prepared? There are many things not in our control right now, but your estate plan doesn’t need to be one of them. Our attorneys are here to help you control the things you can control in the event that the unexpected does, in fact arrive and we can do it in a socially distant way.
Reese & Escobar LLP