Questions about Texas Estate Planning?
4 min read

Questions about Texas Estate Planning?

How to create an Estate Plan in Texas? What should be included in my Texas Estate Plan? In this article, we'll go over the most commonly asked questions about Estate Planning in Texas so that our readers are better prepared! Scroll to learn more!

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Estate planning is a crucial part of financial management that people often overlook. But when you're considering how to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones over the long term, understanding the basics of estate planning in Texas is essential. In this article, we'll address some frequently asked questions to help demystify the estate planning process.

1. What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of making decisions about how your assets will be managed, preserved, and distributed upon your death or in the event you become incapacitated. It involves creating legal documents and strategies to ensure your wishes are carried out while minimizing potential disputes and taxes.

2. Do I Need an Estate Plan in Texas?

Yes, everyone, regardless of their wealth or age, should have an estate plan. Without a plan, Texas law will determine the distribution of your assets, which may not align with what you want. Although it's easy to delay estate planning for a day in the future, we don't always have control over when we need the components of an estate plan, like a Will or Advanced Directive. Life is unpredictable, so the key is to have those documents ready now, even if you don't need them for many years.

3. What Should a Texas Estate Plan Include?

The basic components of a Texas estate plan typically include a Will, Power of Attorney, and an Advanced Healthcare Proxy or Directive.

  • Will: A Will outlines how your assets should be distributed upon your death and names an executor to manage the process.

  • Power of Attorney: This document grants someone the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

  • Healthcare Directive: Also known as a Living Will or Advance Healthcare Directive, this document specifies your medical preferences and designates a healthcare proxy to make decisions on your behalf.

There's one other important consideration when estate planning, and that's making sure your beneficiary designations on non-probate property are up to date. Non-probate property includes things of value that don't pass through the probate process and cannot be included in your will. The most common examples of non-probate assets include life insurance policies, investment and retirement accounts, pay-on-demand bank accounts, and cryptocurrency.  You can review your beneficiary designations on those accounts by reviewing the documentation created when you opened your account.

4. What Happens If I Die Without a Will in Texas?

If you die without a Will in Texas, your assets will be distributed according to the state's intestacy laws. "Intestacy" means dying without a Will. Generally, this means your assets will go to your closest living relatives, starting with your spouse and children. If you have no living relatives, your assets may eventually become the property of the state. There are major drawbacks to dying without a Will in Texas. In addition to forfeiting control over your property, your heirs will be forced to go through a probate process that will be longer and more expensive.

5. Can I Disinherit Someone in My Will?

Generally, yes, in Texas, you have the right to disinherit someone in your Will, meaning you can explicitly state that a particular individual will not inherit any of your assets. This includes your adult children. However, because Texas is a community property state, it is usually impossible to disinherit your spouse. The Texas homestead law also gives a surviving spouse the right to live in a property for as long as they want or until death. This is known as a "life estate."

6. What is the Role of a Living Will in Texas?

A Living Will, also known as an Advance Healthcare Directive, specifies your medical preferences in case you become incapacitated and cannot communicate your wishes. It allows you to outline whether you want life-sustaining treatment or not, sparing your loved ones from making difficult decisions during a medical crisis.

7. What Happens to My Digital Assets in Estate Planning?

Digital assets, including online accounts, email, social media profiles, and cryptocurrencies, should be considered in your estate plan. Most digital assets are not eligible for probate and can't be distributed via your Will. The best way to handle digital assets is to review the rules on assigning beneficiaries to your account. You can designate someone to manage and distribute your digital assets, ensuring they are not lost or misused. This person is often called a "digital executor." 

8. Is Estate Planning Only About Preparing for Death?

No, estate planning is not just about preparing for death; it's also about planning for life. It includes documents like Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Directives, which are essential if you become incapacitated and need someone to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf.


Estate planning is a vital part of securing your financial future and ensuring your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes. While these frequently asked questions provide a broad overview of estate planning in Texas, every individual's situation is unique. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is the best way to create a customized plan that meets your specific needs and objectives, giving you peace of mind for the future.

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