A Will is just one piece of an estate plan. This document provides information about who is to receive your property upon your death, who oversees administering your estate to your beneficiaries, who is appointed as a trustee and guardian (if applicable) and can include many other provisions.
In Texas, many estate planners recommend everyone over the age of 18 have a Will and other estate planning documents. If you own property, have financial accounts (checking, savings, investment, etc.), or any personal belongings you want to give to a specific person, then you need to have a Will.
If you die without a Will in Texas, you are considered to have died intestate. This means that Texas laws will govern who receives your assets (property, financial accounts, personal belongings, etc.). If you die without a Will, the Court also will decide who is the person responsible for administering your estate. The cost to probate an estate without a Will is generally more expensive than probating an estate with a Will. Not having a Will gives you and your family no control of who is responsible for what upon your death.
The short answer to this question is no. Even though your assets may be community property (acquired during your marriage), your assets such as property do not “automatically” transfer to the surviving spouse.
A durable power of attorney is a document that gives another person you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make those decisions yourself. This includes the authority to sell assets, purchase a home, lease a vehicle, transfer stocks, and more – depending on what powers you want to grant to your agent. This is just one document that is included in your online will package and will help avoid going through costly guardianship proceedings should you become incapacitated.
A medical power of attorney is very similar to a durable power of attorney, but this will only give your trusted agent the authority to make medical decisions and access your medical records on your behalf should you be incapacitated and unable to make these kinds of decisions yourself. The absence of a medical power of attorney in your estate plan may lead you to a costly guardianship proceeding, which will leave the decision of who will be your legal guardian up to the Court.