Why Every Man Needs a Legal Will
BY John a. Hay III
Guys, no one likes being pushed around or told what to do, especially in the world of finances. Why should it be any different after you are gone? While most men don’t like to think about what will happen when they are gone, and tend to procrastinate when it comes to drawing up a will, you need the facts if you want to be in control of your estate – a final say-so if you will, so listen up. Here are the facts you may not know.
Did you know that when you die without a properly drafted will (and when I say properly drafted I am not talking about a fill the blank, do-it-yourself form you find online) the courts and the Texas Probate Code decide what happens to your estate – your property, your investments and all those fancy, over-indulgent toys you have worked so hard to accumulate? Your wishes don’t count and neither do the wishes of your family or heirs. It’s all about the law. Although the cost of having a will drawn up might seem unnecessary, by doing so you are saving your loved ones hundreds or even thousands of dollars in probate costs in the long run. Properly drafted, a legal will help you stay in control of what is going to happen to your estate after you are gone. A properly prepared will may also include all of the necessary medical related documents such as your directive to the physician spelling out your stated wishes to a hospital or physician in the case of incapacitation. Most importantly, a legal will with your directives clearly spelled out can save your family the thousands of dollars in dealing with your estate and the fight over who gets your BMW and Italian suits. This is a practical and necessary part of any man’s life and one that certainly bolsters credibility – after all, it is the responsible thing to do – part of taking care of your life and your family now so that when you are gone (no matter how far into the future that day may be) your legacy can be one of fond memories rather than hard feelings over a lengthy probate battle. Man up, make the appointment to draw up a will, then sit back and smile, knowing that you have written your final chapter.
John A. Hay III is a founding and managing member of Hay Compere, PLLC, an Austin-based law firm offering a full range of real estate, construction, document preparation, general business and commercial litigation services, and also operates as a Fee Attorney Office for First American Title Company.