CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local attorney who helps people make their wills says the biggest misconception about making a will is when people say "I can do this on my own." And maybe you can.
But maybe you can't.
According to local attorney Melody Cooper, "where there's no will, you have chaos."
Cooper helps her clients make their wills to avoid chaos. Average cost for a simple will is around $300.
"Make a will if you have assets. If you have children, find a lawyer. Find a reputable lawyer and get it done right."
Assets primarily are any real property you own. Your house or land.
"Your will is your expression of what you want to happen to what you've worked so hard for all your life," Cooper tells us.
Can't you just go online to make your will?
"I would never use online wills. You get what you pay for," Cooper said.
Cooper says there's potential for mistakes making a will online, and you could wind up paying an attorney probating the will a lot of money to clean up mistakes.
Probate is the legal process where a will is reviewed in court to determine whether it is valid and authentic.
Cooper's opinion is that probate is a good thing.
"So many people think it's just me and my wife. I don't need a will. Everything's going to her or him. It just doesn't work that way a lot of times."
What about when children from previous marriages are involved?
"Then you have very complex matters when you have children from other marriages. They inherit the real property of the deceased person, not the spouse. A lot of people don't understand that."
How about picking an executor of the will? The one person you trust to carry out the wishes you've put in your will when you die?
"It's always best to pick someone who has a vested interest in doing this."
The executor has myriad responsibilities, including dealing with beneficiaries, so choose wisely.