Board Certified, Estate Planning and Probate Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Av Preeminent rated, Martindale Hubbell
State decides how your properties to be distributed under the state law of descent and distribution.
Make your own decision as to how your properties to be distributed by drafting a Will.
U.S. Perspective: Merits of making your own decisions.
Japanese perspective: Merits of NOT making own decision, let State make the decisions - "Why should I make my own decisions?"
A. A typical story of common problems associated with "Isan Sohzoku - Succession to a Property" in Japan.
- Property value skyrocketed during bubble economy.
- Death of the owners coincide with the era.
- Heirs were forced to sell the substantial part if not all of the property to pay the taxes.
- After paying all the taxes, little left for each heirs after the long and expensive family and legal war.
- Consequence is that the destruction of family unit.
B. Other Considerations
- Lets you decide who gets your property, instead of relying on state law of descent and distribution.
- Dispose of particular items.
- Dispose of residue.
- Prevents hassling survivors at a time of emotional vulnerability.
- Helps prevent family wars.
- Lets you indicate who you want to be Guardian of your children.
- Lessen expense by avoiding expensive dependent administration and forced guardianship for minor children or others not able to manage property.
- Protects survivors through appropriate trust planning.
A. Holographic Wills
- The requirements for a holographic wills in Texas consists only of that the Will be entirely in handwriting of the Testator and signed by the Testator. No witnesses are required.
- Why you should avoid holographic wills:
- Additional administrative expense
B. Do-it-yourself Kit
- Texas wills should have provisions unique to Texas; many will kits do not.
- Often sacrifice simplicity in application for apparent simplicity of document.
- May have unintended consequences if all possibilities are not covered
- Often fails to provide protection for minor or disabled beneficiaries