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What Is A Will?
A will is a document that explains the legal distribution of your assets upon your death. A will can appoint guardians for minors in your care, transfer property to particular people, and name inheritors of your financial assets, among other things.
There are many different types of wills that accomplish different things. Some of the most common types of wills include:
- Last will and testament: A document dividing your assets up among family, friends, and charitable organizations
- Joint will: A blend of two individual wills with similar wishes, especially common with spouses
- Living will: A document that outlines your wishes for health care in case you become incapacitated and cannot make those choices for yourself.
What Is A Trust?
A trust is a fiduciary relationship that controls how your assets are managed. While wills only go into effect upon your death or incapacitation, a trust goes into effect at the time of creation. This document transfers your assets to the ownership of the trust – outside of your name – and allows a named trustee to oversee and distribute those assets. There are many different types of trusts available to choose from, including:
- Revocable trust: The terms of this trust can be changed at any time.
- Irrevocable trust: The terms of this trust can’t be altered after creation.
- Special needs trust: A trust that is designed to help special needs dependents qualify for aid
- Charitable trust: A document that transfers your assets to a charitable organization
Why Do You Need A Will And A Trust?
Most people realize that they need to have a will if they want their possessions to be transferred to their family members upon their death. If they don’t have a will in place, and they pass away, Texas’s intestate laws will decide who gets what. However, if they don’t have a trust in place, their family members still won’t receive their inheritance right away; any will left behind will have to go through a Texas court process known as probate before it can be validated and acted on. Probate is notoriously time-consuming, expensive, and complicated. Also, remember that a will can only take effect after you die. What if something happens to you and you can’t take care of your family – what will happen to them then?
A Galveston will & trust attorney can ensure that your family won’t have to go through probate and that they will be provided for if you become incapacitated. Having both a will and a trust can guarantee that your family will quickly receive your assets, that your assets won’t be attacked or stolen by dubious creditors, that your assets won’t be depleted by taxes, and that your wishes will be honored, no matter what.
Why Should You Hire A Galveston Will & Trust Lawyer?
Many people attempt to avoid the costs of hiring an attorney and download online will and trust templates, but this “DIY” approach could actually end up costing you more money down the road. For one thing, there is a reason that lawyers go to school for years; it takes time and legal knowledge to gather and present information correctly and properly file these sensitive documents. Doing the research on your own will be both time-consuming and risky, as you may not get the right advice online. Generic online documents won’t be specific to your life, and they may not be compliant with recent Texas state laws. Any mistakes can render your documents invalid and essentially useless to your family when they will need them most.
Our Galveston will & trust lawyer, Attorney Michelle E. Murphy, has extensive experience in drafting comprehensive, personalized wills and trusts. She can draft documents for you that will be compliant with Texas state laws and that will reflect your unique family dynamics and financial circumstances.
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