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Debunking common myths about wills and probate

Estate plans are documents that should constantly evolve throughout your life. Major life events, such as marriage or divorce, often require you to change your listed beneficiaries. Additionally, if you remarry, then you want to make sure you do not make the mistake of disinheriting your children in your will. 

Many people assume that it will be obvious where their assets go after their deaths. However, Texas has strict laws about how to create estate planning documents, such as wills. It is vital to separate fact from fiction, so you can do the right thing for your family and know where your assets will end up. 

Myth: It can take years for an estate to go through probate

Probate goes on for several months. This waiting period allows creditors to file claims. After that time, probate can actually pass quite quickly, but some circumstances can make it drag on. If the deceased has a huge estate or any ongoing income, then it can complicate matters. Additionally, some family members may try to object to certain provisions, which could take years to resolve.

Myth: The state gets everything if a person dies without a will

A lot of people assume the state claims everything if a person suddenly dies without a will. While it is still important to create an estate plan well in advance, people can rest easy. The state will not automatically take everything. Instead, assets generally go to any surviving spouses or children. However, if you want specific provisions followed for the division, then you need to make sure you lay it out in a will. 

Myth: The oldest child should be the executor of the parents' estates

The court will not automatically appoint the oldest child to serve as executor of the parents' estates. Numerous factors go into consideration, and it is also possible to have co-executors.

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Mccullough & Mccullough

Serving South Texas For Three Generations

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323 E. Jackson Street
Harlingen, TX 78550

Phone: 956-320-1320
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