Estate Planning: When There Isn’t a Will… What is the Way?

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Will and last testament

A will is a legal document which entails how a testator designates his estate among his heirs. Often, people confuse a will with an estate plan but, they are different. While a will is a part of an estate plan, an estate plan has a wider coverage of plans concerning the person’s estate. A will also names the executor. An executor is a person who is in charge of making sure that the testator’s wish is duly adhere to after his death. Having a will is very important as it makes provisions for a lot of things as well as it helps to avoid certain unpleasant situations like conflict among family members.

Often many people fail to make a will for one reason or the other. For instance, some persons think having a will is something that is meant for the rich alone. This is a wrong concept as having a will is necessary for everyone, the rich, the average, and the low class, whichever group you want to fix yourself into. In as much you own an asset to leave behind and you have heirs, it is very important you have a will.

If you are among the population that keeps procrastinating making their will, it is time to make your will as anything can happen at any time. The thought that you can plan your will at any time is the major cause of procrastination. The truth is it might get to a time when you won’t be capable of doing it again so the right time to plan your will is now. There is no age limit to having a will; in as much as you are an adult and you have an asset then you should have a will.

Uses of a will

A will designates your assets: You specify in your will how you want your assets to be shared among your heir in the case of eventuality. You might have intentions of giving part of your estate to charity; you will specify this in your will.

Name your executor: The executor ensures the proper distribution of your assets among your heirs. He is also in charge of settling taxes, creditors, etc. You name this person in your will. The person could be a friend, a family member or your attorney.

Some importance of having a will

  • Having a will gives you the opportunity to decide those to inherit your estate when you are gone. You get to choose who to get what. It helps to keep your estate from does that you don’t wish to have a share in your inheritance.
  • Will makes it easier for your heirs to get access to your estate as everything would have been put in place by you.
  • Will also presents you with the opportunity of donating your estate to charity. This can’t be possible when you do not have a will as family members won’t know of your desire to donate your estate to charity.
  • In your will you can specify whom to look after your children whereas, in the absence of a will, this decision will be made by the court.

Types of Will

  • Testamentary will
  • Holographic will
  • Oral will
  • Mutual will

Effects of not having a will

Dying without having a will can have negative impact on your estate and the persons you leave behind.

Chaos among family members: If you do not have a will, when you die issues arise as to how your estate will be shared among family members. This is something you should avoid by simply making a will to direct the process of distributing your assets.

Access to your assets: The distribution of your assets will suffer delay. This is because the court will have to determine how your assets will be shared.

What can be done?

It is very necessary to have a will before you die but if it happens that you die without having a will, the court will decide what happens to your estate and how it should be shared among your heirs. Depending on the state you reside, different states have lay-down laws which make provision for times like this. The court will also appoint an executor.

Getting assistance

Planning your will requires the assistance and guardians of an experienced attorney. Our attorneys are available for consult and hire.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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