It’s definitely not pleasant to think about, but one day you will die. And when that time comes, having a last will and testimony can ensure proper administration of your estate and distribution of your assets, as well as establishing guardianship for minors.
Drafting your will needs exceptional care and effort, as a well-drafted will minimizes the chances of contest in probate court while also paving the way for a smooth and efficient transfer or distribution of the estate. With years of experience helping Texas residents draft, update, administrate, and even contest wills, Mansfield-Fort Worth will attorney Wendy L. Hart is your legal expert on beneficial estate planning strategies.
What Exactly Should a Texas Will Do?
A Texas last will & testament has several functions, and it is often considered the most important aspect of any estate plan. In general, a Texas will essentially ensure that the deceased’s requests are carried out. Specifically, this can include:
- Naming the beneficiaries of the estate – The beneficiaries are the individuals receiving a portion of the deceased person’s estate.
- Naming the executor of the estate – The executor is the individual tasked with administering the estate, handling the probate process, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the estate’s assets.
- Making specific bequests – These are specific bequests, such as a gift of a specific piece of property to a named person.
- Describing estate administration – Specifies how the executor should manage the estate.
- Naming the guardian(s) for minor children – There are two kinds of guardians: guardians of the person (such as physical custody of minor children) as well as guardians of the estate (the finances, assets, and/or property).
When drafting a will, family law and estate attorney Wendy Hart will work with you, one-on-one, making sure that all of your wishes are clearly and comprehensively defined in the will. Our goal is to minimize the possibility of contest while ensuring a distribution of assets in the most advantageous way possible.
Contesting a Will in Texas
Last wills and testaments can sometimes fall under scrutiny and argument in Texas families. In general, if you believe there is a significant issue in regards to the will, you can file a lawsuit in Mansfield-Fort Worth courts. This lawsuit is known as a “will contest.” There are four common reasons as to why you may need to contest a will, including:
- The testator (the head of the estate drafting the will) lacked the capacity to understand that he/she signed a will or what property was given to whom.
- Someone exercised undue influence on the testator while he/she was drafting and/or signing the will.
- The will was signed without the proper formalities required by Texas law.
- The will is missing required legal elements.
Each will contest will require specific pieces of evidence to back the claim. Often, some important pieces of evidence can include any witnesses, medical records, past wills, financial records, and other contracts and legal agreements.
Contact Wendy L. Hart for Your Last Will & Testament
For complete legal services regarding your will, attorney Wendy L. Hart boasts in-depth knowledge of Texas probate and family law. Attorney Hart is confident that she can help produce an air-tight will that accurately reflects all of your wishes. From drafting the will to representing your interests in probate court, the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart provides integrity, professionalism, and 100% importance to every case and client. To speak with attorney Hart about the elements of your will, you can call our Mansfield-Fort Worth law office today at (817) 842-2336.