Navigating the path of future security doesn't have to be overwhelming. When you get the legal guidance of Carl J. Mangine, Attorney at Law, PLLC, you get personalized guidance and careful attention as you create, update, and clarify your will. I'm here to light the way, making the process simple and relieving any undue stress.  

My areas of service extend beyond wills to encompass estate planning, probate, and trusts. I am committed to providing a personalized service that is tailored to your unique needs, helping you achieve a sense of peace with the knowledge that your future is secured. Schedule a meeting with me today, and let's turn planning for the future into a straightforward process. 

Overview of Wills

A will is more than just a document; it's a tool that allows you to express your final wishes so that they're carried out. It gives you the power to decide how your assets will be distributed, who will care for your minor children or pets, and even your preferred arrangements for your final resting place. 

Without a will, you leave the distribution of your assets to the state's intestate succession laws. This can lead to family disputes and might not reflect your true wishes. A will gives you control over your estate, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones. 



Types of Wills

There isn't a one-size-fits-all when it comes to wills. There are several types, including simple wills, which cover basic asset distribution and guardianship, and living wills, which convey your wishes regarding medical treatment if you're unable to communicate them yourself. 

The type of will you choose will depend on your unique circumstances.  

  • Simple Wills: This is the most basic type which dictates the distribution of your assets and appoints a guardian for your minor children. 

  • Living Wills: Also known as an advance directive, a living will allows you to state your wishes for end-of-life medical care in case you're unable to communicate your decisions. 

  • Testamentary Trust Wills: This type of will sets up one or more trusts for the distribution of your assets after your death. It's often used by those who wish to stipulate conditions for asset distribution or when the beneficiaries are minors. 

  • Joint Wills: These are wills created by two people, usually a married couple, which stipulates that the surviving person will inherit the entirety of the deceased's assets. 

  • Holographic Wills: These are handwritten and signed by the person making the will. Its validity varies from state to state. 

Each type of will has its own legal intricacies and implications. It's advisable to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to help you navigate these complexities. 

Contents of the Will

In your will, you'll get to specify who inherits your assets—whether it's money, property, or personal belongings. A comprehensive will generally includes several key components to guide the administration and distribution of your estate: 

  • Executor: This is the individual you entrust with the responsibility of making sure your wishes as stated in your will are carried out. The executor also handles matters such as paying debts and taxes on your estate. 

  • Beneficiaries: These are the people or organizations that you have chosen to inherit your assets. Beneficiaries can be family members, friends, or charitable organizations. 

  • Assets: Detailed information about your assets—including bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, and other valuables—should be included. You'll be able to specify which assets go to which beneficiaries. 

  • Guardianship: If you have minor children, your will should designate a guardian to take care of them in the event of your death. 

  • Debts and Taxes: Your will should provide instructions for how your debts and taxes will be paid after your death. This can involve setting aside a specific portion of your assets for these purposes. 

  • Specific Gifts: If there are specific items that you want to go to certain people, such as a piece of jewelry or a particular sum of money, these can be specified in your will. 

  • Residual Clause: This is a provision that disposes of any property or assets not specifically mentioned in your will. It’s a catch-all clause that makes sure all your assets are distributed according to your wishes. 

Remember, a well-drafted will can provide peace of mind, knowing that your wishes will be respected, and your loved ones provided for. It's always advised to review and update your will periodically, especially after significant life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the acquisition of substantial assets. 

Commonly Inherited Assets

Assets commonly included in a will span across real estate, bank accounts, investments, vehicles, and even personal possessions such as jewelry, art, or family heirlooms. By clearly stating your intentions in your will, you'll confidently know that your assets are distributed exactly as you wish. 


Probate is a crucial legal process that takes place after an individual's passing. It involves the verification of the decedent's will, ensuring its authenticity and legality. During probate, the contents of the will are examined, and the distribution of assets is executed as per the decedent's wishes.  

Probate includes several steps. Firstly, the will is authenticated by the court and the executor of the estate is formally appointed. Subsequently, the deceased's assets are identified and appraised, and any outstanding debts or taxes are paid off. Lastly, the remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries as outlined in the will.  

My role as your attorney is to fight to make sure this complex process is managed effectively, with the goal of ensuring that your will is accurately realized. 

Differences Between a Will and a Trust 

While a will takes effect after your death, a trust can take effect during your lifetime. Trusts offer benefits like avoiding probate, providing for minor children or individuals with special needs, and maintaining privacy. Together, we can explore whether a will, trust, or both would best serve your estate planning needs.


As your local estate planning lawyer in Schertz, Texas—also serving Guadalupe County, Universal City, Converse, New Braunfels, and San Antonio—I'm here to help you navigate the complexities of wills and estate planning. Whether you're creating a new will, updating an existing one, or navigating probate, don’t face it alone. Contact me today to schedule a consultation, and let's start protecting your legacy together.