Basic Information Regarding Wills
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A Will Can Appoint Guardians for Your Children

If you have minor children, you should appoint guardians who will take care of your children upon deaths of you and your spouse.  

A Will Can Appoint Trustees for Children

If you have minor children, you should appoint a guardian of their estate.  However, it is usually better to appoint a trustee and include specific instructions in the Will for how their inheritance should be applied.

A Will Can Appoint Executors

There are sometimes disputes about who should be the executor when there is no Will, having a Will that names an executor can eliminate these kinds of problems.

Who Should Make a Will

The majority of Americans die without Wills, and the consequences vary greatly with individual circumstances.  Every adult should have a Will made, and as your assets and family increase, so will your need for a Will.  Wills are especially crucial for parent with minor children.  

What Happens if a Person Dies Without a Will

If you die intestate (without a Will), state laws determine how your property will be divided among your heirs.  As a rule, the surviving spouse gets half the estate and any children divide the other half.  Grandchildren are next in line followed by parents, siblings and other relatives.  If a person has no traceable heirs, all property goes to the state.

Is a Lawyer Necessary for Drafting a Will

If the proper procedures are followed, a Will made without a lawyer can be legally sound.  For people with relatively small estates a do it yourself Will may work.  However, it is not recommended to do it without a lawyer.  Having a valid Will does not always mean that your exact intentions will be carried out.  

Can Bequests be Conditional on a Person Doing or Not Doing Something

Yes, but the courts decide whether following them or not would violate "public policy."  

What's the Best Way to Change a Will

The best way is to make a new Will and be sure it states that all other Wills are invalid.  You can, however, only change one part of a Will with a document called a codicil.  A codicil is an amendment which must be signed and witnesses just like a Will.  

How Many Witnesses are Necessary

Nearly all states, including Texas, require that there be at least two witnesses and that they are present when the Will is signed.  It is also best to choose disinterested witnesses, or people who won't inherit anything under the Will.