The creation of a will (a vital testamentary document) is very important to most members of today’s society. Even when a married couple is under the impression that when one of them passes, the surviving spouse will inherit their whole marital estate, or if a single individual believes that his child, or life partner, will acquire their possessions, these assumptions fail to take into consideration the fact that without a will the State of Texas, through its legal system, can divide the assets and debts left behind by the deceased through a probate process. Creditors and other persons claiming a stake in the departed individual’s estate have the legal right to do so as well and often do.
Although some assets, such as a bank account held in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, or the proceeds of a life insurance policy designated to be paid to a specific beneficiary, will generally pass outside of probate, many types of assets and debts must be processed through what could become a lengthy and expensive probate process, again, unless the deceased individual had a properly drafted will. In this event, the State of Texas will generally attempt to follow the deceased individual’s wishes, so long as the will is drafted properly. Another very important consideration is the impact that poor estate planning can have on those we leave behind. One mistake often tragically made is to think that dashing off a quick will using the Internet will satisfy legal requirements. Quite often, such forms are either not Texas-specific, or they fail to address necessary legal areas and potential probate pitfalls.
Izzo & Associates makes this process simple and affordable. More than two decades ago, John Izzo teamed up with a top estate planner in Austin and a large probate law firm in Houston to develop an all-inclusive testamentary document that would cover just about anyone’s needs, from individuals that possessed some simple assets to others that needed to pass on a multi-million-dollar estate. Each of these three entities had good ideas for such a product, and together, they forged an affordable will that took into consideration a variety of legal pitfalls that numerous other documents fail to provide.