Why is having an estate plan important? In Texas, “intestate succession” laws direct who inherits your estate if you die without a will. Texas’ laws of intestate succession aim to give property to the persons you would most likely leave your estate to if you had a will, such as your spouse, children, parents, and siblings. For example, under Texas’ intestate succession laws:
- If you die with children but no spouse, the children inherit all of your assets.
- If you die with a spouse but no children, parents, or siblings, the spouse inherits all of your assets.
- If you die with your parents still alive, but you have no children, spouse, or siblings, your parents inherit all of your assets.
- If you die with your siblings still alive, but you have no children, spouse, or parents, your siblings inherit all of your assets.
Some people do not want their estate to be distributed under the Texas laws of intestate succession. For example, maybe you are estranged from your children, and you don’t want them to inherit from you. Having an estate plan, including a will, allows you to direct exactly what you want done with your estate.
Having an estate plan is also important because it includes documents that direct who will manage your finances if you become disabled and can’t handle your own affairs, who will take care of your minor children if you die, whether you want to be kept alive on life support if you’re in a vegetative state, and who will administer your estate while it goes through probate.