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Dallas Wills and Trusts Lawyer Serving Texas

You put a lot of effort into providing for yourself and loved ones. It may create peace of mind to know that you have made financial and long-term health plans for your loved ones following your death. When creating an estate plan, it is best to know what instruments are available and what they transfer.

The Dallas wills and trusts lawyers at Elaine Law Group carefully examine your estate and devise a plan for the most effective transfer of your assets, tax mitigation, the appointment of a guardian for your children, pet care, philanthropic support, and safeguarding of your loved ones. This can commonly be done through a will or trust.

Consult With a Dallas Wills and Trusts Lawyer Today.

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What is a Will?

What is a Trust?

How to Form a Will in Texas?

Hiring a Wills and Trusts Attorney

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What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that arranges how your possessions and assets will be distributed after death. A valid will can name guardians for minor children as well as who is in charge of distributing the will upon your demise. It is crucial to have a will as it enables a person to express in detail their desires after death. Working closely with an attorney to draft and revise your will, can ensure that the language properly conveys a person’s desires.

Without a will, your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries in accordance with the laws of the state where you reside. This is referred to as dying intestate, and the settlement that follows might not be what you would like for your survivors. By having legal documents that reflect your preferences, the state will not automatically distribute your property according to intestate laws.

Texas intestate laws, like most states, require that all assets be distributed to the closest living relative. First would be a living spouse – next would be any living children, followed by any living parents. In the event that you have no living next of kin, your estate will escheat to the state. Proper estate planning will prevent the likeliness of either of these situations from occurring.

What is a Trust?

As part of a thoughtful estate plan, a trust can provide other benefits in addition to being traditionally used to reduce inheritance taxes.

In a trust, a third person, or trustee, is given the authority to hold assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. There are numerous ways to set up trusts, and they can stipulate the precise timing and distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries.

A person’s beneficiaries might have quicker access to these assets because trusts typically escape probate as compared to assets transferred by a will. Furthermore, if it is an irrevocable trust, it might not be regarded as a component of the taxable estate, which could result in lower taxes owed after one’s passing.

However, if a revocable trust is formed, it will likely be taxed. A revocable trust is commonly known as a living trust because the Settlor maintains control over the trust.

How to Form a Will in Texas?

In order for a will to be valid in Texas, it must be formed in a way that complies with the requirements set forth by Texas probate laws. The requirements for a will in Texas are:

  • It must be in writing; verbal wills are not upheld in a court of law in Texas. Additionally, a solely digital copy will not be accepted either. The will must be printed or written on paper.
  • The person forming the will must be at least 18. However, being in the military or legally married exempts a person from this rule.
  • One must be of sound mind. A person must understand that they are forming a will and be capable of making the decisions for allocation of their assets.
  • Drafting a will must be done so voluntarily. If a person tries to force another to create a will, then the will would be deemed invalid. 
  • Finally,  two witnesses, at least 14 years of age, must attest to the validity of the signing of the will.

Texas does not require a will to be notarized. However, one can elect to have a will notarized to forgo witnesses. If the will is properly notarized, then it will be self-proving, which means a witness will not be necessary at probate.

Dallas will and trusts attorney

Hiring a Wills and Trusts Attorney

If you need help drafting a will or creating a trust, it may be wise to consult with an experienced attorney. The Dallas Wills and Trusts lawyer at Elaine Law Group can explain the difference between a will and trust and how to properly create both.

Contact an Elaine Law Group Wills and Trusts attorney in Dallas, TX, today by phone at 214-432-3113, email legal@elainelawgroup.com, or by completing our online form under the contact tab.

What is a Will?

What is a Trust?

How to Form a Will in Texas?

Hiring a Wills and Trusts Attorney

Trademark Law

Copyright Law

Entertainment Law

Business Law

Contracts & Formation

Estate Planning

Wills & Trusts

Government Relations

Government Contracts