With numerous celebrity deaths in recent months, you’ve probably heard a lot about Wills and Probate. And you’re probably aware of the problems that can arise when someone dies without a Will.
Were you to die intestate – that is, without a Will – you won’t have an executor, who is the person who manages and disburses your estate in accordance with your final written instructions. Instead, the Court will have to appoint someone to act as the administrator of your estate, which means potential delay, expense, frustration, and even loss of assets due to late payments, or non-payment, of bills, such as a mortgage on your house. Your surviving family members may not receive what you want them to receive, and you will not have any input into the selection of guardians of any of your children who are minors at the time of your death. In addition, certain assets that you want to be kept for your family’s security or for investment purposes may have to be sold. Finally, in the event of a common disaster (where your entire immediate family passes away), your estate may end up going to a relative that you may have never spoken to, or don’t like. Believe it or not, these are not uncommon occurrences.
The best way to avoid any of the above scenarios is to have an experienced estate planning attorney draft a Will that both expresses your specific wishes and complies with your state’s legal requirements. In addition, you must make sure that your Will is properly signed and executed; otherwise, it will have no legal effect. This is not a complicated process.
If you have any questions, please call or email Legacy Trust and Wills. We are happy to answer any questions you may have! Call Carol at 606-2631 or email [email protected] You may also contact us through this website.