Wills & Probate

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Having an end-of life plan can ensure your family is cared for upon your death and that your medical care, funeral arrangements, and financial affairs are handled according to your wishes. While planning for this time in your life can be uncomfortable, doing so can spare your loved ones some confusion and stress.
At Allison Family Law, PLLC, we draft Wills and amendments to existing Wills (codicils) that are tailored to address each client’s circumstances, needs, and goals. We will work closely with you and take great care in crafting your highly personalized Will to ensure that it fulfills its intended function when the time arises.

Your Will – or Last Will and Testament – designates the beneficiaries who will inherit your assets upon your death. For example, you can use your Will to name guardians for your minor children and pets.

While a simple Will works well for many clients, estate planning clients who have a substantial estate or complicated business dynamics often require a more complex Will. Our firm has a great deal of experience in crafting Wills that effectively address all of these scenarios and more.

Common Questions

What happens if I die without a will?
If you die without a Will (“intestate”), you cannot choose who will inherit your money, real estate, property, belongings, insurance, and retirement benefits (your “estate”). Instead, your estate will be divided according to Texas law. Without a Will, your siblings and grandchildren will not likely inherit anything from you. Your estate could be tied up in a lengthy probate process involving a court-appointed attorney, filing fees, and a court hearing—all paid for with money taken out of your estate.

With a Will, you get to decide what happens to your property. The person you choose (the “executor”) sees to it that your property is distributed the way you intended.

If I am married, won’t my property automatically pass to my spouse?
No. Without a will, your estate will be divided under state law depending on whether it is classified as separate or community property.
  • Community property is all property acquired by both spouses during the marriage, including all cash, bank accounts, retirement, personal property, and real estate, unless it is considered separate property.
  • Separate property is property owned by a spouse before the marriage or acquired during the marriage by one spouse as a gift, an inheritance, or through a personal injury settlement. 

I have children and I am not married. Will my estate go to my children?

Yes. Community property only applies if you are married. If you are not married at the time of death, all your children, born or adopted, in or out of wedlock, will share equally in your estate if paternity is not at issue. You may not want a child to be better off financially to inherit the same as one who needs more financial help. Without a Will, your grandchildren will not get anything unless your child dies before you. If your child dies, your child’s share will pass to their children (your grandchildren) in equal shares. If you want to leave something to your grandchildren, you should make a Will.

I am not married and have no children. Who will inherit my property?

If both parents are alive, each parent will get half. If both parents are dead, your estate will be divided equally among your siblings. If one parent is alive, that parent will get half, and the remaining half will be divided among your siblings. If none of your siblings survive you, but one parent is still living, that parent takes all.

Who will care for my minor children?

The other parent if parental rights have not been terminated.

If the other parent is dead (or the parents die at the same time), your children will probably go to the grandparents, but a court may have to decide which set of grandparents will be guardians. In a Will, you can name the person(s) you want to be guardians of your children.