I have been asked by a fine local attorney to write again about the need for everyone to have a will. Every month, at least, we have someone who did not leave a will and are putting their family through unnecessary pain. The smaller the amount of the estate, the more difficult the financial burden because proportionally it is so costly. I had a parent not too long ago whose son sadly passed, leaving several cars and a bank account. This pushed it beyond the “small inheritance” portal requiring a full intestate hearing to establish unnamed heirs and then determine the best administrator. It is complicated and virtually always requires professional legal help.
You can have a simple will done by an attorney or by online companies. You can even do a handwritten will (not the best way). If you do not, you leave your loved ones at the mercy of a preset state law that determines the heirs and it must be followed. If you do not have a will, you may leave the care of your property and your children with someone you may not have wanted. In general it is safe to say that processing the estate as intestate is much more complicated and therefore expensive.
Even worse the lack of a will can create difficult feelings between legitimate heirs concerning division and administration. I have seen it get really ugly, and sad. So, on behalf of attorneys and judges that care, I implore you to make a will immediately if you do not have one. It does not matter how small or how little you think you have, it does not matter if the assets are large. I am one of those judges who do probate who truly dislike the pain of those going through it. These folks have not only lost a loved one, they have the pain of this “intestate” process. If you care about your loved ones you will get a will done ASAP!
Quote – “Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.” – Brian Rathbone
Thanks for listening.
We want you to be proud of your County Government.
BOB HURLEY is the Atascosa County Judge. You may e-mail him at countyjudge@ atascosacounty.texas.gov.