estate plan documentsIn our last post, we discussed some dangers to consider when making a Texas will. Here, we’ll conclude our series and provide some important points to consider when making a will or reconsidering your prior estate plan.

To recap, this series addressed the following topics:

  1. Overview—Creating a Will in Texas
  2. The Advantages to Making a Will in Dallas, Texas
  3. Requirements for a Valid Will Under Texas Law
  4. Pitfalls to Avoid When Making a Texas Will
  5. Series Recap— Creating a Will in Texas

This series provided a broad overview of making a will in Texas by discussing the requirements, function, advantages, and traps of making wills. Now, we will highlight some significant issues to consider when making a will.

Avoid Internet Form Wills. Consult an estate planning lawyer before you make a will. If you are exerting the effort to make a will, then you want it to function as intended. By using a form will, you may save money up front, but those gains may be offset by added time and expense in probate court.

Consider Cost-Saving Provisions. A properly prepared will avoids costly and time-consuming heirship proceedings. Optionally, the testator can further reduce the time and cost of probate by including a self-proving affidavit and asking the court for an independent administration and the appointment of an executor without bond.

Plan a Proper Execution Ceremony. All Texas wills must be validly witnessed and executed. Make sure that the two attesting witnesses don’t receive anything under the will. Choose impartial witnesses who would testify in court if the will is challenged.

Identify Conflicts and Take Preventative Measures. Identify the people who may challenge your will. If a potential challenge is looming, get a medical examination as close to the will execution as possible. Consult with a lawyer to ensure the proper type of doctor is selected and an appropriate report is made. Consider including a no-contest clause in your will.

Examine Your Estate Plan Holistically. You may wish to incorporate nonprobate transfers in your estate plan. Consult with an estate planning attorney to explore options like an inter vivos trust, a testamentary trust, beneficiary designations, and transfer-on-death deeds, which can function in harmony with your will.

This concludes our series on making a will in Texas. If you have questions or concerns about making a will or determining the validity of an existing will, please contact us. We are experienced in will drafting for residents throughout Texas, including in Dallas, Harris, Travis, Bexar, Denton, Collin, Ellis, Montgomery, Midland, and El Paso Counties.