A will is a “bread and butter” document that states how someone’s property will be divided after their death. It is the core document that is pretty much universal to any estate planning process.

However, surveys show that only as few as one-third of Americans have a properly executed will in place. There are a few assumptions driving this, most of which are false.

People assume that creating a will is a long an onerous process. But the fact is that unless you have a very large and complicated estate, preparing a will in Arlington is relatively simple and can be accomplished in as little as one to two weeks in many cases.

Another assumption is that people think working with an attorney to create a will is expensive. The truth is, what is expensive is not having a will in place. Without a will, the courts will decide how your assets may be divided, and your loved ones could rack up legal bills as well as not attain assets that they would otherwise be entitled to.

The Benefits of Wills

Executing a will provides you and your surviving heirs with a number of benefits.

First and foremost, you get to decide who will get the property and other assets in your estate. Without a will, your estate is subject to “intestacy” which means those decisions will be made without your input and the bulk of your estate could go to others you do not want.

With a will, you get to choose who will be the executor of your estate. This person should be somebody you trust to make sure all of your instructions are carried out. Without a will, the courts will choose an executor for you, and it may not be someone you want to have control of your assets.

You can amend or revoke a will. If your circumstances change, you can amend your will through a codicil to better reflect your most current wishes. If a will no longer represents any of your wishes, you can also revoke it entirely and start over.

Although there are several do-it-yourself forms and websites that allow you to create a will, it is still smart to invest a relatively small amount of money by hiring a lawyer to protect your family as much as possible. Just like other family financial issues, a will is an investment in your future, and making that small investment now will pay handsome dividends in the future.

The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.