Wills & Estate Planning

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Estate planning is important no matter what your net worth is. A simple will can be completed in just a few hours while dying intestate (without a will) could force your family to spend weeks or months in court trying to settle your estate.

As a teacher, I am very familiar with the unique needs of planning for retirement benefits like TRS, IRAs, or a 401k. I can help you preserve your estate for you and your family.

Drafting a Will

Drafting a will may seem like a relatively simple process: Write down who should receive your property and who your executor will be.  But legally effective wills have specific requirements in Texas – and just downloading a form may give you a will that is valid for somewhere else, but not in Texas.

One of my first clients was the wife of a deceased engineer – a brilliant man – who thought he would “do it himself.” Unfortunately, the things he didn’t know cost his surviving wife $15,000 that could have been saved by a just a consultation!

Probating a Will

3d white person and text DO IT NOWProbate is the process by which a deceased person’s estate is distributed. The first step is the court checking to see if the will meets the legal requirements and giving other parties time to contest the will. Creditors will then have a chance to be repaid from assets in the estate. Once those steps are complete, the person’s property will be distributed as they instructed in their will. Depending on how smoothly things go, the process can take as little as a few weeks or go on for several months.

Contesting a Will

There are four grounds for contesting a will in Texas: not in the proper legal form, lack of mental capacity, undue influence through fraud or other means, and forgery. A will contest must be made at the start of the probate process by someone with an interest in the will, and Texas law requires that you hire an attorney. If a will contest is successful, the last valid will, if available, is used, and if there is no other will, property will be distributed according to intestacy laws.

If you need assistance with a will in Cypress, Katy, or Waller County, contact Robert Jewett, Attorney at Law today.