Will

A will is an instrument that helps your family determine how to distribute your assets when you pass away. Texas recognizes formally written wills as well as holographic wills. A holographic will is written entirely in the Testator's handwriting and signed by the testator. A formal will includes two witnesses and a notarized signature and may provide courts and your family more instruction than a handwritten will.


Probate

The process of taking a person's will to court after they have passed away is called Probate. Courts can grant an independent administration if a will specifies or a dependent administration if the court sees fit.

Additionally, if a person dies without a will and did not pre-plan, their family will be forced to do an "intestate" probate procedure. Intestate means someone died without a will. An intestate administration is costlier than an administration with a will because the courts must appoint an attorney ad litem, meaning a separate attorney who represents the unknown heirs of the estate.


Trust

 A trust is a separate legal entity that allows someone to manage property. That could be the property of another or property that the individual owns. Trusts can be created while someone is still alive, called a living trust or inter vivos trust. Trusts can also be created through a will when someone dies, called a testamentary trust.


LLC

Limited Liability Company - a Texas entity that provides a limitation on liability for the owners or "members" and a more flexible way of corporate governance.