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The importance of wills in estate planning

It is important for Texas residents to set up a last will and testament if they want to dictate how their estates will be divided following their deaths. Incredibly, though, a full 70 percent of Americans do not have a will on file. However, when you consider how much easier your death will be on your loved ones if you have a will on file, the choice is clear: Wills need to be written now before it is too late.

Even a simple, one-page will can save your relatives an enormous amount of stress and costs following your death. You can use your will to determine what family members, friends and/or charities will receive specific amounts of cash, assets and property. You can also specify guardians to care for your children when you are gone.

The need to specify a guardian for children is actually one of the primary reasons many Americans set up a will. Indeed, without specifying a guardian in a will, the court will ultimately decide which grandparent, which sibling or other blood relative will care for them. It is likely that you already know who is best suited to care for your child. Why, then, would you let this crucial decision fall out of your hands in the event of an untimely death?

Texas residents can write their wills without the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney; however, they may wish to obtain professional assistance. Indeed, an estate planning professional will be familiar with common errors to avoid during the will-drafting process. By avoiding these errors, individuals can ensure that their wishes are carried out when they are gone, and that their deaths are as easy as possible on their loved ones.

Source: FindLaw, "Wills: An Overview", Nov. 18, 2014

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