What is the Cost of NOT Having a Will in Texas?

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Last will and testament with pen and reading glasses.


The following is provided for informational purposes only and is not, nor should it be construed as, legal advice.


By far, the most commonly asked question attorneys receive is “how much does it cost to get a Will prepared?”  Very few people ever ask “what is the cost of not having a Will?”

In Texas, if you do not have a Will, the State of Texas has one for you.  Essentially, this means your assets are going be distributed to your living heirs under the intestacy laws of Texas.

A Will gives you the opportunity to designate who receives your property when you die.  It also gives you the opportunity to designate an executor, the person to administer your estate.  If you die, without a Will, you have lost the right to make that decision and it is likely you would have made a different decision than the State of Texas makes on your behalf.

Having an attorney prepare a simple Will in Texas is relatively inexpensive, but more importantly, is the groundwork it lays for your heirs.  Your loved ones get peace of mind knowing that your assets are being distributed according to your wishes, and the probate process itself becomes much easier.  Furthermore, when the time comes for your Will to be probated, the first question asked by the attorney is “did the deceased have a Will?” If the answer is no, then the probate of your estate is much more costly.  Keep in mind, having a Will is not only for your benefit, it is for the benefit of those you leave behind who must handle your estate.

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