If you’re young or only have a few assets, you might not think you need to plan for what happens to your car or house or bank account after you die. It probably seems like these assets will get passed on to your immediate family without much fuss. But in Texas, if you don’t have a will or other testamentary plan, your family will have to pay a lawyer to represent them in probate court in order to transfer these assets. Just like you can’t walk into a bank and access a stranger’s bank account, your family won’t be able to access yours. And no one will be able to legally sell your car or house when the title is in your name.
The best way to prevent your loved ones from going through an expensive and lengthy probate process while they’re grieving your loss is to create a plan with an attorney. A basic will package at our firm starts at only $500, which is considerably cheaper than hiring a probate attorney and allows you to create a plan tailored to your exact needs. And the package includes—at no additional charge—other documents which can prove to be as equally important as a will, such as a financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and a directive to physicians and surgeons.
However, if you can’t afford that right now, the Texas Access to Justice Commission has created an online program called the Texas Transfer Toolkit, which allows you to fill out forms that will transfer your car, house, and bank account to your chosen beneficiaries without the burden of going to probate court. These transfers will only occur after you die, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally signing away ownership of any of your assets.
Being young or healthy won’t protect you from the unexpected, so if you don’t have a will or other testamentary plan, spare your family the cost and stress of going to probate court by giving us a call or by completing the Texas Transfer Toolkit, which can be found at:
Please note, if you are parents of minor children you will need an actual will if you wish to have a say in who gets custody of your children in the event of your untimely death. If the unexpected occurs, someone will have to make that decision—and if you don’t have a will, that person will be a judge.
IMPORTANTLY, the information provided above does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. The above information may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This article may contain links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader. Branum PLLC and I do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.
Readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.