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The following article was featured in the Indo-American News, November 20th, 2009 issue:

Estate Planning: Protecting Your Family and Assets
By Attorney Zainab K. Rizvi

Even though most of us never want to consider what may happen after our passing, death is inevitable. To protect our loved ones, we should begin the necessary preparations as soon as possible, regardless of our age or income.

Thorough and responsible preparation begins with the creation of a Will. Have you considered how you will protect your family? Do you know and agree to how your assets will be disposed of after you pass?
What is a Will?

A Will is an individual’s legal declaration of an outright disposition of his assets at death. The Texas Probate Code defines a Will as including a codicil, and a testamentary instrument which merely appoints an executor/guardian, directs how property may be disposed of, or revokes another Will.
Who can create a Will?

Any person over the age of 18 years, or who has been married, or who is a member of the armed forces of the United States, and has testamentary capacity (also known as sound mind), can create a Will.
Do I need a Will?

If you meet the above requirements, the answer is yes. Having a valid Will in place during your lifetime can help make administration and distribution of your estate easier for your family that you will leave behind after your passing.

You should be concerned with what happens to your property and in whose hands your property ultimately falls. It is because of this concern that a Will is an excellent idea for almost everyone who has the capacity to make one.

Some people do not own many assets at this point of their lifetime and incorrectly assume that they do not need to be concerned about Will preparation.

This is not necessarily true. Though your financial condition may not be strong at this point, you do not know what it will become at your death or what property you will own at your death. Your personal family situation may dictate your need for a Will. For example, if you are married with minor children, having a Will in place may make all the difference for your family, even if you have a few assets.

A well-drafted will may contain a trust for minors and incapacitated persons, but without that trust an expensive, cumbersome guardianship is the result.

Also, a well-drafted Will provides for a contingent beneficiary in the case the primary beneficiary you had left the bulk of your assets to passes before you do.

The scenarios are endless. No one can predict who in their family will pass first. That’s why estate planning is a very personal decision and the appropriate provision to be included in your Will depends upon your family dynamics and your objectives.

Having a properly drafted Will can help.

Thus, you should contact an attorney to assist you.

For further information, contact the Law Offices of Zainab K. Rizvi at (713) 297-9131 or visit