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 Legal Briefs
I Don’t Need A Will Because All I Have Is My House.
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    IBy Kathleen Cassidy Goodman, PLLC
f these words have come out of your mouth – you likely are incorrect. If you own a home, then you have at least
one bank account and possibly more. If you own a house, then you have homeowner’s insurance. If you own a house, then you probable have a car or two and maybe even a RV or a boat. If you own a house, then it’s pretty likely you have furnishings and maybe some jewelry or guns. If you own a house, then you may have some sentimental items that you and your family treasure.
Now that we have determined that you don’t own just a house, perhaps you do need a Will after all? If it turns out there is a hailstorm the week you pass away, and the insurance company sends you a check for $10,000, then the check will be made payable to you. After your death your family members will not be able to cash the check to fix the roof of your “only” asset.
If you have a Will, your family members will need to probate the Will to cash the check. But if you don’t have a Will, you are putting a burden on your spouse or family members when you pass away. If you don’t have a Will and a financial institution tells
your family members, they need Letters Testamentary in order to cash the insurance check or withdraw funds from a bank account, then your family is going to have problems.
Not only will the family incur legal fees far in excess of the cost of a Will, but they will need to find two people, who aren’t heirs of your estate, to appear in front of the judge to discuss details regarding you and your family. Finding two people who know this information is difficult but finding two people willing to take off from work to go to court to swear about your family is even more problematic. Perhaps you should re- think “All I have is my house.”
Kathleen Cassidy Goodman
is an attorney in areas of estate planning, probate, civil litigation, and business law. She can be reached
at her office in Helotes at (210) 949-1000 or for more information, visit www.
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