How Do I Prepare a Will?

Couple preparing a will

Making a will during your lifetime saves a lot of time and frustration for the deceased person’s family. Here is more information on why you need a will, what a complete will package entails, and who needs one.

At the Justice Law Firm, we advise that all adults have a complete will package. A simple will is about 10 pages long, and is fairly inexpensive. In addition to a will, we recommend that your package contain a medical power of attorney and a statutory durable power of attorney. These last two documents are extremely important: They state who will make decisions for you if you are still alive but cannot make those decisions yourself (for example, if you are in a coma or legally incompetent). Your will, on the other hand, only goes into effect after you have died.

You may make changes to your will at any point in your life.

Changes to your will can be made through what is known as a codicil, or you can have a new will drawn up that will invalidate the old one.

It is crucially important that you do not make any scratch-out marks or other alterations on the will, because you will invalidate it.

Once the will is made out, keep it in a safety deposit box or other place that can be easily located. As the testator (the person who has had the will drawn up for himself or herself) you should keep the original. It is also recommended that you give a copy to the executor, the person who you name in your will to distribute your property. Lastly, limit the number of copies of the will that are in circulation. In the event that you change your will, you should track down all copies and have them shredded. Situations have occurred where the probate process on a deceased person’s will has already started, and a more recent copy of the will is suddenly discovered.

There are a couple of reasons why people do not make a will. First of all, it is a small investment that shows its worth over time. Meanwhile, we all like to spend money on more immediate, tangible objects that make our lives more enjoyable, like expensive appliances and trips. Second, drawing up your will in the event of your death can be a very unpleasant thing to think about. Many times, people hold off on making a will for that very reason.

Lastly, people always ask when is best time to draw up a will. The answer is: Right now. In other words, if you are an adult, 21 years of age or older, and if you have property or children, we recommend that you have a will.

The Justice Law Firm is a well-established law firm in Southlake, Texas.

The firm focuses its practice on the areas of probate law, family law, and collaborative divorce.