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Strengths of Wills

By Trialandheirs Subscribe to RSS | January 18th 2012 | Views:

A will is important because it ensures that the probate court knows what your wishes are. But do you really need one? What happens when you don’t have a will? In a way, there is a substitute will waiting for you. Every state has “intestate” laws that instruct probate courts how to dispose of property when someone dies without a will.

Don’t agree with how the state would decide what to do with your property? Tough. Do you even know what your state’s laws say? No? Too bad. If you didn’t leave a will, your heirs have no choice. An estate without a valid will is always considered to be intestate and defaults to laws that loved ones you leave behind may not agree with.

But is it so bad not having a will? Think your spouse would get everything? Unfortunately (for some) this is not the case. In most states, the spouse gets a percentage of the estate, with the rest passing on to the kids. The percentage varies from state to state. And what about the grandkids? They get nothing. In most states grandchildren only receive something under intestate law if their parent dies before the grandparent.

And who will fill the all-important role of executor to administer the estate? The judge will pick someone if you don’t have a will.And if you have several children who can’t agree on who shouldserve as executor, there may be a nasty fight! Sometimes, thejudge might even pick an attorney or other outsider to administer the estate for your family.

For those with only a modest estate, and little concerns of a family dispute, a will may be all you need. In fact, even the most sophisticated estate plans still use wills. They work as a safety net to make sure that your wishes are followed, rather than the plan created by the state. Every good attorney who prepares a living trust also includes a will to make sure the trust does its job.

Trialandheirs - About Author:
How to make a will, Danielle & Andy Mayoras are dynamic keynote speakers, estate planning attorney, probate attorney,legacy expert attorneys, and authors of the acclaimed book Trial and Heirs Famous Fortune Fights.

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