Estate planning isn’t just for people with substantial assets. An estate is simply an individual’s property and assets, such as bank accounts, vehicles and insurance policies. Although some assets can pass outside of probate, others must go through the probate process to ensure the asset passes to the correct party.

5 Things You Should Know About Estate Planning and Probate:

  1. If you don’t have a will, the State of Texas will write one for you and it may not contain the terms you want.
  2. You should not rely on joint tenancy agreements to pass title to real estate. Title companies often refuse to accept the document as a basis for passing title to real estate.
  3. If you have a properly prepared will, probate in Texas can be quick and inexpensive. If you do not have a will, probate can be protracted and expensive.
  4. If you have children, your will can contain provisions creating a trust to manage property left to them. The cost for including a trust for your children in a will is nominal.
  5. All estate plans should include a will or living trust, a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, and a directive to physicians.

Estate planning may not be an easy topic to consider, but it’s the best way to ensure your wishes are honored. Hancock McGill & Bleau will assess your estate planning needs and draft the documents necessary to help your surviving family members avoid lengthy probate disputes and proceedings.

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