Top 10 Reasons to have a Will and Estate Plan

  1. Choose Heirs. I want to decide who will receive my property instead of allowing the legal system to distribute to my statutory heirs the assets that remain after a lengthy and expensive probate process.
  2. Designate Guardians for Minor Children. My husband and I want to choose the persons who will care for our children if we die while they are still minors.
  3. Establish Trusts for Minor Children. My wife and I want to ensure that if we die while our children are minors, the property we leave them will be managed for their benefit without costly, court-administered guardianships.
  4. Minimize the Cost of Probate. I want to take advantage of Texas laws that allow me to authorize the executor of my estate to act without costly and time-consuming court supervision.
  5. Manage Affairs in the Event of Disability. I want to designate the persons who will manage my financial affairs and medical care in the event I become incapacitated.
  6. Treat Children from Previous Marriages Fairly. My wife and I want to our assets to be distributed fairly among our children from previous marriages and to preserve the intentions of whichever of us dies first.
  7. Minimize Estate Taxes. My husband and I want to avoid the 45% tax rate on estates that exceed the tax-exempt amount.
  8. Protect a Family Business. I want the business I built up during my lifetime to pass smoothly to the next generation while minimizing the tax consequences and potential for family conflict.
  9. Make Charitable Donations. I want to give some of my property to my church or to charities.
  10. Disinherit a Child. Well, perhaps not entirely, but I do want my property to be distributed unequally among my children because one of them has received substantial gifts from me and another has special needs.