Many people do not want to go above and beyond to learn more about estate planning, Wills, trusts, etc. This should not be a surprise because many of us do not want to think about dying and what will happen after we are gone. However, this is still an important topic of discussion. When you have people depending on you, you do not want to leave them in a state of confusion after your death.
We want you to be prepared, so here are a few of the myths and misconceptions we want you to know regarding Wills and estate planning:
Myth 1: Lack Of A Will Means The Government Gets What You Left Behind
If you leave behind a spouse, children, or other family members (siblings, cousins, etc.), the state will not get everything you leave behind. Texas law provides a mechanism for determining who gets your property if you die without a Will. That mechanism does not include the state receiving your property, even if your closest living relative is someone whom you have not contacted in years. In many cases, the mechanism under Texas law does not result in leaving your assets to the same people you would have chosen, so the best way to make sure that your property and assets end up where you want them is to have a well-drafted Will.
Myth 2: The Probate Process Is Too Long
In Texas, the probate process is very easy and uncomplicated if you have a well-drafted Will. Usually, the process can be completed in well under a year. Only when there are significant complications in the assets or creditors of the estate would a probate administration last longer than a year.
Myth 3: There Is An Advantage In Birth Order
No advantage is given to the child who is the oldest when it comes to an estate. The executor of an estate is not always the oldest child. If you want to name someone as the representative of your estate, this person will be appointed unless there is a reason for the person not to be appointed. If you do not have a Will or if the named person decides he or she does not want to take on the responsibility, the court will appoint someone to be the executor. We encourage you to choose a person who will be responsible and who will handle things the way you want them to be handled after you are gone.