It might not look like it sometimes, but pretty much everyone has an estate. Even those people who have very little in the way of money or possessions still have that money and those possessions, like a few books and clothes. It might not look like enough to warrant a will, but it really is, and not because of any monetary value.
The main purpose of a will is to show the state (literally, the state you live in) that you have deliberate plans for your possessions and people aren't trying to steal them. Your will is supposed to show that you haven't been coerced, though obviously that isn't foolproof when you think of all the people contesting wills who claim the deceased was pressured or tricked into signing. Still, the presence of a will shows that you, in one way or another, have decided where your possessions will go after you die.
Dying intestate, or without a will, tells the state nothing about what you want done. You get no say in who gets your belongings or money, and if you have pets or children and no spouse, they might end up with people you didn't expect.
Delays for Small Stuff
Intestate deaths mean the state probate courts have to decide what goes where, and because those courts can be crowded and busy, it could be a long time before your family is able to actually do anything with your money and possessions. That can be very frustrating, especially because they might need that money for your funeral.
Your Relatives Bear the Brunt
Dying intestate might not seem like that big a deal to you, but that's because you won't be around to deal with the aftermath. Your relatives will be, and it's a mess that you really don't want them to go through. If they are already busy or live far away, you're setting them up for major inconveniences for months if you die without a will.
Estate planning doesn't have to be tough. You need a will, and you have the option of creating a living trust (this sounds complicated but is actually very simple and will make life so, so, so much easier for your family). You also can adjust various accounts so that they are not subject to probate, such as making your bank accounts "payable on death." Talk to an estate planner, such as at Wright Law Offices, PLLC, about these options because they don't take long to set up at all.Share
12 March 2018
My name is Noni. When I was in college, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. My life was never in danger, but I did break a few bones and had a lot of huge medical bills. I was hoping I wouldn't have to get involved with an attorney, but unfortunately, it came down to that. I used a family friend who is an accident attorney to get some compensation. A few years later, I was hit while riding my bike and had to go through the same process. I suppose I'm lucky to be alive. And it's thanks to accident attorneys that I have been able to put my life back together. I started this blog as a way to let others know just how much lawyers can help you in certain situations.