Wills Lawyer

Planning Your Will for Peace of Mind

Creating a will lets everyone know your wishes after you have passed. By working with a wills lawyer, you can be sure that your will is correctly drafted, effective, and comprehensive in laying out your wishes and plans. Regardless of the amount or extent of your assets, drafting a will can save your family from frustration and uncertainty. When you create a will, you can rest assured that your assets and wishes are protected.

Even if you trust your family and other close ones to carry out your wishes after you pass, creating a proper will with a San Antonio wills attorney can ensure that your plans are fulfilled. At the Amsberry Law Firm, our wills lawyer in San Antonio will work with you to carefully review your plans and make sure that your will successfully and clearly outlines your intent. While it can be difficult to think about your passing, knowing that your assets will be well managed afterward brings relief.

Amsberry Law has helped many families and individuals in San Antonio and surrounding counties make estate plans. Call our legal team at (210) 354-2244 to get started creating your will.

What Is a Will and Why Do I Need One?

Without a Will, Your Family Could Face Added Legal, Financial, and Emotional Difficulties.

A will is a document that directs the distribution of your assets after your death. A will further lists your intent for appointing a guardian for your minor children and arranges for certain debts to be repaid. A will should not be confused with an estate plan, which is a collection of all documents and plans pertaining to your wishes following death or incapacitation.

Essentially, a will outlines what you want to be done with your personal property and how you want people to care for your dependent family members. The point of a will is to provide a binding document that is used to ensure that your wishes are carried out after death.

Do you need a lawyer to draw up a will? Contact a wills lawyer at the Amsberry Law Firm today at (210) 354-2244.

Rather than having family members and courts attempt to decipher and assume your intent, a will spells things out clearly. A will, therefore, gives you peace of mind, knowing that you can still control your assets after death and prevent complications and disagreements among family.

Benefits of Writing a Will

The benefits of writing a will become clear when you consider what happens if you die without a legally valid will. If that occurs, the court system will likely decide who gets which parts of your estate following intestacy laws in the State of Texas. The court’s decisions might not agree with what you would have wanted to have done with your assets.

Families can be hurt financially and emotionally when no will is available to dictate the distribution of assets. If a parent or parents of minor children die without a will, the court system will appoint a guardian. Whom the court chooses, however, will be up to the court itself if there’s no will to provide guidance.

Dying without a will can lead to assets being tied up for years, putting financial and emotional strain on families.

If you don’t have a will, your family members and estate could also face substantial legal fees and court costs throughout the process of managing and distributing your assets. Instead, to prevent such a scenario, speak with a wills lawyer in San Antonio about drafting a will.

Creating a Valid Will with a San Antonio Wills Attorney

The Legal Components of a Valid Will

States follow statutory requirements that dictate a will’s validity. In Texas, the testator—that is, the person making a will—must demonstrate legal capacity, testamentary capacity, and testamentary intent when creating a will.

Legal Capacity – A testator has legal capacity to make a will in Texas if he or she is 18 years of age, has been lawfully married, or is a member of armed forces.

Testamentary Capacity – Testamentary capacity intends to ensure that the testator is of sound mind when making judgments and decisions about a will and its instructions. To demonstrate testamentary capacity, you would need the mental ability to understand:

  • The fact that you are creating a will
  • The effect of your will
  • The nature and the extent of your property
  • The people who are the natural objects of your bounty (meaning your family members)
  • The fact that you are disposing of your assets
  • How all these elements relate and come together to form an orderly plan for the disposition of your property.

Texas estate code also requires that two adult witnesses and the testator all sign the will in each other’s presence in order to validate the will.

Putting a Will into Effect

A will also provides an individual with the ability to decide who will be in charge of administering his or her estate and executing a will. This individual will collect the decedent’s assets, see that debts are paid, and distribute assets according to the terms of the will. Many people choose a spouse to act as the executor or appoint a friend or trusted individual who can carry out this role during a time of grief.

After someone who made a will dies, it will be necessary to probate the will in probate court, a process that establishes a will’s validity. The executor of a will is responsible for commencing the probate court proceedings.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Draw Up a Will?

What Type of Lawyer Helps with Wills?

A wills lawyer and estate attorney will be an invaluable asset as you draft your will. But do you need a lawyer to draw up a will? While a will does not have to be drafted with the help of a wills lawyer, doing so provides clear benefits and peace of mind:

  1. Wills can be complicated – By working with an attorney, you can be sure that your will clearly and comprehensively states your intents. Wills can require precise and exact language to avoid ambiguity and ensure that beneficiaries and your wishes for them are clearly listed.
  2. Save time and money – Writing your own will takes time, especially if done with the care and precision needed to ensure that it will hold up in court. Working with an experienced San Antonio wills lawyer will be more efficient and far less costly than the future legal fees and expenses for straightening out an unclear will.
  3. Unbiased advice – Even if you know what you’d like to include in your will, a wills lawyer in San Antonio can offer unbiased advice if needed and help answer questions. Deciding what or whom to include in your will is a personal choice, but guidance or advice on details and questions is often incredibly helpful.

At the Amsberry Law Firm, we’ve helped our clients in San Antonio and surrounding counties plan for tomorrow today. Each will and document that we help prepare is tailored to an individual and can address unique family situations and other concerns so that your wants and needs are protected.

A will is crucial not only for making your wishes known but for keeping them protected, as well.

Remember, even though a will is a fundamental document for estate planning, it is not all-encompassing, as it primarily concerns assets. Speaking with an estate planning attorney about a comprehensive plan and strategy for managing your estate sooner rather than later is always advisable.

FAQ

Common Questions Asked of a Wills Lawyer in San Antonio

Most people are familiar with the basic premise of a will, but it’s important to know more about a will’s abilities and limitations when planning your estate. Below are several common questions that wills and estate attorneys often hear.

Can my will be updated?

A will can be updated in light of significant life changes like a change in marital status, the birth of a child, or the purchase or sale of real estate. If you need to update or amend your will, speak with a wills attorney to ensure the change or update is properly reflected. While drafting a will early in life is recommended, a will should be updated as needed to reflect your current wishes.

Do I have to be wealthy to worry about wills and estate planning?

Estate planning and creating a will are not only for the wealthy. If the person or persons who earn money in a family die, having a will in place helps ensure that dependents and others are properly taken care of. No matter the size of your estate, if there is no will, the state will decide how to distribute your assets. Instead, you should be the one to decide.

What is included in my estate?

Your estate typically includes everything that you own when you die. This includes real estate; bank accounts; stocks, bonds, and other investments; life insurance policies; personal property like cars, jewelry, artwork, and other possessions; and business interests. When figuring out the value of these items, any debts must first be subtracted.

Are handwritten wills valid in Texas?

Handwritten wills, also known as holographic wills, are valid if they follow certain criteria. A handwritten will must be written entirely in the testator’s handwriting and must be signed. Even if a handwritten will is valid, it may overlook certain details or contain unclear language compared to a will that was written with a San Antonio wills attorney.

How is a trust different than a will?

You probably know what type of lawyer helps with wills. The same type of lawyer often helps with trusts, too, even though wills and trusts are different. A trust is a legal arrangement where property is transferred to and managed by another person (a trustee) before being administered to a beneficiary. Unlike with a will, a probate court proceeding is not required to distribute the property; and wills typically involve an executor, not a trustee.

Every estate, family situation, and person’s wishes are different. Therefore, it’s always best to speak with a wills and estate attorney about specific questions when formalizing plans for the future.

 

Drafting Your Will? A Wills Lawyer at Amsberry Law Can Help.

When it comes to safeguarding your wishes and properly distributing your assets, it’s important to leave a clear and legitimate will behind. Doing so protects your wishes and also prevents your family and estate from having to sort out unknowns.

By consulting with a wills lawyer in San Antonio, you can be assured that your will is correctly written and conveys your intent after you’ve passed. Call Amsberry Law at (210) 354-2244 to find out more about how our attorneys can help you with writing a proper will.