Our readers have often read about the reasons why people should create a will. When you don't create a will, you are considered to have passed away intestate. If that occurs, your wishes and the wishes of your loved ones don't have any part in how assets are distributed. Instead, the court will turn to the Texas procedures and laws for dying intestate. There are two major downfalls to dying intestate that our readers should know about.
Dying intestate will mean a considerable delay and some costs associated with getting your estate distributed. In many cases, court proceedings will be necessary to determine who gets what. The court might opt to appoint an administrator to handle the estate. In some cases, especially in cases that involve family members and heirs who can't agree on the distribution of assets, the process might be so time-consuming and so expensive that the estate is essentially depleted before the estate is distributed.
Another aspect that some people don't think about is that where the state says your assets should go isn't necessarily where you want the assets to go. You may not want certain items to go to a family member, but if you don't have a will, nobody will know that. Instead, your family members will get your assets. The person who you wanted to get your car, antiques, or other items might not be able to assert a claim to those.
It is vital that you understand how not having a will can affect your loved ones. Dying intestate could mean that your loved ones never see anything from your estate because of the costs associated with going through probate. That is a stress they don't need right after losing you.
Source: Texas Young Lawyers Association, "Texas Probate Passport" accessed Mar. 13, 2015