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Writing a Will is a nice gesture. But, really, apart from a few mementos, what will you leave behind? Maybe you don’t need a will.

“Despite wanting to avoid financial devastation, 43% of Medicare patients end up spending more than the total of their assets, excluding real estate, on end-of-life care, while 25% spend all their assets including any money from home or property.”
Sally Hurme, Get the Most Out of Retirement, p. 244.

You don’t need a will if…

  • You don’t need a Will if there will be nothing left.
  • You don’t need a Will if all you will leave is your home: in Texas, you can pass that on death, outside of probate, using a Lady Bird or Transfer on Death Deed.
  • You don’t need a Will if you will leave a car: in Texas, you can use DMV forms to pass your vehicle on death.
  • You don’t need a Will if all you will leave is your home, personal effects worth no more than $60,000 and other property, such as a bank account, worth no more than $75,000 —AND your heirs and two witnesses will agree to pay your debts, split what remains according to the Texas Estates Code AND the bank or credit union or brokerage will accept a judge’s Order on a Small Estate Affidavit (which is far from certain.)

 

 

Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

 

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