You have probably heard from others and even your will attorney how important it is to have a will in place. Without a valid and legal will, family disputes or significant court costs to settle your estate could ensue after your death.
If you have yet to create your estate plan, a will is a good place to start. This legal document can help you with some of the most standard aspects of settling your affairs. And if you want to provide protections for more rare events, a will can help with this, too.
If you die without a will, it is said that you have died “intestate.” When this happens, your estate will go to the local probate court. During the probate process, your beneficiaries and creditors will be identified, and your assets will be allocated.
If you die intestate, your property will typically go to a surviving spouse first and then to any children. If this is not possible, other considered parties will include extended family members, according to the probate laws in your state. If no family members can be found, your estate will typically be handed over to the state.
In addition to creating a will, you can talk to your will attorney about creating a living trust. This legal document outlines plans for someone while they are still alive and after death, and they typically include instructions for dividing up assets, investments, property, etc.
If you need a will attorney, we can help you with all phases of the estate planning process. Contact us today to learn more and set up a consultation.