You do — if you have children. Who will take care of them if you and your spouse pass?
You do — if you own the following assets you need a will in order that the assets may pass to those you wish to inherit your property:
• Real Property, including mineral interest and surface rights • Bank or brokerage accounts, CDs, stocks and bonds • Automobiles • Tangible Personal Property • Money Is Owed to You (you are the person writing the will)
• Intellectual property which generates royalties
If you do not have a will at the time of your death the State will determine how and where your estate assets are to be divided.
In a community property state, such as Texas, you cannot dispose of your spouse’s half of any community property.
You may ask yourself — why should you create a will? This is your Last Will and Testament. You are stating to whom, how much, and what assets are to be distributed upon your death.
If you die without a will the State and the courts will determine how your assets are to be distributed. You can make it easier on your heirs by designating who is to receive from your estate.
As I have dealt with probate issues, money and wealth can bring out the worst in people. Using the Christmas classic, Charles Dickens — A Christmas Carol, as an example Mr. Scrooge’s possessions were taken and sold by various people. Ebenezer Scrooge was not at all pleased on how his assets were distributed.
Although the State provides laws for those who die without a will (intestate) the best way to provide for your heirs is to have a Last Will and Testament to be complied.
Make sure that you have a will.