It’s always on your to-do list, but it never actually gets done: write a will and get your affairs in order. The trouble? It seems complicated and expensive. In reality, it doesn’t have to be difficult or cost you a lot of money. But it does need to be done right away, so don’t let it get pushed down your to-do list again this year.
Why You Need a Will or a Trust Now
Estate planning documents – a will or a trust, powers of attorney, health care directives – don’t seem urgent. After all, they’re something you keep for “just in case.” But these important documents aren’t like having an extra umbrella in case you leave yours at the office – the consequences of not having them are more than getting a little bit wet.
While we hope that death is a long way off for all of us, the reality is that unfortunate things do happen, and we don’t have any control over when they happen. When a person dies without their affairs in order, they put their family at a great disadvantage, both in terms of time and money. The stress of probate, the worry of finding an attorney, the possibility that they won’t be able to access your accounts or know your wishes – all of those can create significant financial and emotional stress for your family.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will or a Trust
When a person in Texas dies “intestate,” or without a will or a trust, the state decides who get your assets and how they are distributed by a predetermined formula. This formula doesn’t take into account your personal family structure or history or your own wishes.
In addition, if you die without estate planning documents, your family will likely face a lengthy probate process that will require an attorney. However, in Texas, with a simple will in place, the probate process is much more streamlined and easier, leaving your loved ones to focus on what matters, not getting caught up in legal matters.
If you have minor children, having a will or a trust also allows you to set up a guardian for your children, rather than letting the courts decide who gets custody of them. It also allows you to set up someone to deal with their finances until they are able to do so themselves.
Death and the stress of grief and change can often bring out the worst in people. If you leave your estate unsettled, it can lead to fights and arguments that exacerbate old rivalries or create new ones. Simple documents can help streamline the process, lowering the chance that your parents, siblings, loved ones and children will fight with each other over your assets and belongings.
The Peace of Mind Estate Planning Brings
Although creating a will or a trust may seem like something you’ll need in a far off future, in reality, doing your estate planning can bring you something you need right now: peace of mind. When you know that things are taken care of, it will bring you a sense of peace about the future.
A Will or a Trust Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
One of the main reasons that folks don’t create a will or a trust is the expense. Most people don’t have a few thousand dollars sitting around that they’d like to hand over to a lawyer in exchange for a pile of paperwork. But you can get a will or a trust for much less with a legal plan like Texas Legal.
Getting estate planning done is the number one reason our members sign up. They pay a low monthly premium (or pay in full for a year to get a discount!), and can see a qualified estate planning attorney in their area to get their estate planning done or updated at any time. That’s it. Instead of a few thousand dollars, your estate plan can cost just a few hundred dollars, paid in your monthly premiums.
A membership with Texas Legal comes with a long list of other legal benefits too – family law, civil defense, criminal defense, bankruptcy – which can add to your peace of mind. We even include identity theft monitoring and repair through Experian Identity Works. Not only can you get your estate planning done with Texas Legal for way less than the usual cost, you know that any legal problem you encounter, you can have an attorney by your side.
Why 2020 is the Year to Make Your Will
2020 – the number says it all. This year, bring your life into focus and do the truly important things first. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the urgency and busyness of every day life. This year, join Texas Legal and get your estate planning done. With your focus and purpose, you’ll gain priceless peace of mind that will power your year with a sense that you’ve done something that truly matters – taking care of your family no matter what happens.