A Will is a document that states how you want your property and possessions to be distributed when you die. A valid Will in Texas (and in most states) must be written and signed by you and two witnesses who are at least 14 years old and do not inherit anything under the Will. Texas Wills should always include the following:
- A statement that the document is your will.
- A statement of who you want to inherit all of your property. This is typically done by stating who you want to inherit specific things (for example, your gold pocket watch), and then a statement leaving the “remainder” or the “residue” to one or more people or entities.
- An Executor – this is the person who handles everything related to your property once you die. You must name someone who is over the age of 18 to serve as your Executor. They cannot be a convicted felon. As long as your Executor meets these requirements (and is willing to serve), the probate court in the county that you were living in at the time of your death will “appoint” the Executor that you name in your Will. They will then work to settle any debts that you had, and then distribute your property.
- Your signature, and the date it was signed.
There are many other things that a properly written Will should contain, but those are the absolute basics. A Will is a fundamental part of any estate plan. An estate plan is simply a plan that you put in place to deal with your property when you are deceased, and to manage your property and care while you are living. It should include several documents other than your Will, but at a very minimum, it should always include your Will. To learn more about Texas estate planning, please visit my “Estate Planning Basics” page.
An Online Will is a will that is drafted based on information that you provide through an online system. These systems vary in price, as well as what documents are included. They frequently are not drafted by actual attorneys, although they should be.
My Online Will system is actually an Online Estate Planning system. It includes your Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Directive to Physicians, HIPAA Release, and, if you have minor children, Guardianship Directives.
I draft all of my Online Wills, so you can rest assured that if you use my Texas Online Wills (or Texas Online Estate Planning) service, you’re getting an attorney-drafted document.
My Online Will service is offered at a significant savings over my in-person services. So if you have a straightforward plan for your property, it’s a great way of saving money. However, if you have a lot of questions about how you should distribute your property, or if you just don’t feel comfortable going through the process without assistance, you should probably consider using my in-person option.
If you are unsure which option is best for you, give me a call at 512-861-2294 and I am happy to chat with you about it for a few minutes!