The Foxhoven Law Firm

Law firm focused on providing personal legal services to Austin, Texas and surrounding communities.
824 W 10th St Ste 100A Austin, TX
Phone: (512) 537-0370

Estate Planning: Last Will and Testament

(November 28, 2012) — Planning for the future can be stressful, frustrating and time-consuming, but there is no better way to put your mind at ease and do your family members a kindness than by taking care of your important estate planning documents now. “Estate planning” encompasses many important aspect of planning for the future. One aspect of this planning includes drafting a Last Will and Testament to clearly explain how you would like your assets and property distributed after you pass away. Another aspect may likely include assigning power of attorney to people you trust to make important legal, business, financial and medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable do so on your own. While there are no laws that require an attorney to help with estate planning or to draft a Will, it is often prudent to seek legal counsel and have a lawyer who has experience writing clearly defined legal documents to write your Will.

What is a Will? A Last Will and Testament is a written document that clearly explains the testator’s (the person making the Will) desires of what should happen when the testator passes away. Wills often explain who should receive specific assets, whether a trust should be created for the benefit of specific people, and who should manage the testator’s estate after he or she passes away.

The process for distributing a decedent’s (person who has passed away) estate is typically made much easier for the remaining family members when there is an Attested Will that has been signed by the testator in the presence of two credible witnesses (over the age of 14). After all, a family’s primary concern after the death of a loved one is usually to grieve and hold a service to honor their memory.

However, the lack of a Will, or a poorly drafted Will, can disrupt this sensitive grieving period. If the departed has no Will, then family members are faced with navigating the long process associated with probating an estate through the laws of intestate succession (distribution of an estate when there is no Will). If there is a Will, but it is written in a manner that is open to interpretation, then this may increase the possibility of family members getting into disputes and litigation over how to interpret the decedent’s wishes. Again, though it is not required to have an attorney draft a Will, it is often advisable to seek the guidance and counsel of a trusted attorney that can draft the Will in a manner that helps avoid difficulty and disputes in the future.

At the Foxhoven Law Firm, PLLC, I work to provide unequivocal consultation on a variety of legal affairs. The firm provides legal services pertaining to estate planning (wills, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney and advance directives), business law (including incorporation and LLC formation, contract drafting and review, business transactions and more), and family law (including divorce, child custody, child support, modifications of prior Orders, paternity, Attorney General cases, adult name changes and more).