Costs of Having a Will Versus Not Having a Will
Have you been putting off getting a Will because you say the kids can fight about it when you’re gone? Or, you don’t want to pay for something that you won’t be around to use yourself?
Here’s a quick breakdown of the costs of Probate with a Will versus without a Will.
- If you have a Will, Your property goes to your named beneficiaries, and does not have to rely on the Texas Estates Code to determine who gets what.
- If you have a Will, no Determination of Heirship proceeding and hearing has to be held. If you have a Will, it doesn’t matter who your relatives are and where they live and to what degree they are related to you…because you’ve said in your Will “I want everything to go to my two daughters” or “I want everything to go to my nephew, and nothing to my three children” etc. The cost of including a Determination of Heirship to the Probate of your Estate can add several hundred dollars in attorney fees, court costs, mailings to all relatives, and time spent locating relatives.
- If you have a Will, no Attorney Ad Litem needs to be appointed. In a Determination of Heirship proceeding, the court has to appoint an Attorney Ad Litem to represent any unknown heirs out there, to protect the black sheep of the family, or any family member/heir who wasn’t notified of the hearing. If you have a Will, then no Determination of Heirship is needed, so no Attorney Ad Litem needs to be appointed. The Attorney Ad Litem normally charges between $500 and $800.
- If you have a Will, a notice that a Determination of Heirship proceeding has been started does not need to be placed in the county newspaper, saving you between $90 and $130.
In summation, by having a Will, just in court costs and basic fees, it can save you, your spouse, and your estate up to $2000. This does not include all the potential probate litigation your estate may suffer by not having your beneficiaries clearly listed in your Will.
And if your plan is to “let the kids fight about who gets what”….believe me, they will.
Get a Will today. At least do it for your spouse and kids.
Blaise Regan is a Partner at Regan & Frisbie, PLLC, a law firm focusing on Wills, Trusts, Probate, Contracts, Business Formations (LLC, Corporation, S-Corp Designation), Business Disputes, and Consumer Litigation.
Regan & Frisbie, PLLC is located at 7160 Preston Road, Suite 100, Plano, Texas 75024.
Comments or questions, feel free to email him at Blaise@RFPlawfirm.com or call him at 469.200.4737.
*Nothing in this Article is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases, or creating an attorney-client relationship, and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only, and no warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein.