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Why executing a will might not be as hard as you think

A poll released just last year made some rather startling revelations concerning the number of U.S. adults lacking a will. Indeed, it found that an astounding 64 percent of people were lacking this vital legal document, which would otherwise enable them to divide their property as they see fit, appoint an executor and even minimize estate taxes.

It doesn't take too much guessing to determine why people are neglecting to take this essential step. The answers invariably include concerns about time and money, the prospect of addressing mortality and, of course, the level of difficulty involved.

The reality is that while these concerns are understandable, they are often exaggerated.

Take for example, the concerns over the difficulty involved in executing a will. The reality is that the law here in Texas actually recognizes two different types of wills: handwritten wills and typewritten wills.

Furthermore, the person leaving the will -- referred to as the testator -- need only meet the following requirements:

  • They must be at least 18 years old, serving in the armed forces, or legally married (either currently married or married at one point) when executing the will
  • They must be of sound mind when executing the will
  • They must not be tricked or forced into executing the will
  • They must demonstrate testamentary intent when executing the will, meaning an intent to grant property to others at the time of death

In our next post, we'll continue this discussion on the execution of wills, exploring the differences between handwritten wills and typewritten wills, and how the existence of a will matters as far as probate is concerned.  

In the meantime, if you have questions about executing a will or would like to learn more about the real value of complex estate planning, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional. 

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