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LegalCornerTM - Wills F.A.Q.'s

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Q.What happens if you die without a Will?

A.If you die without a validWill, your loved ones will be at the mercy of the probate court, they will have no say about what you wanted, and all of your debts and assets will be distributed according to your state's "intestate succession" laws, even if they do not reflect your personal wishes or the needs of your loved ones. If no family member applies to act as Executor, the probate court will appoint a government representative to be the Executor. In either case, the cost of administering your estate will be higher.

If you do not make a Will, complicated legal disputes can arise over the question of "who gets what" and that makes lawyers very happy (Cha Ching!).

There is also this common misconception that if you are married and die, everything automatically goes to your spouse. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. For example, assume there is a husband, wife and two minor children and the husband dies. You might assume that everything goes to the wife, but that is not the case. If there is no Will, depending on the size of the estate, the wife might receive something more than one-half, but the balance will be put aside into the hands of a Guardian for the benefit of the minor children when they reach 18.

Making a Will, and having it reviewed by a local attorney to ensure it is valid in your state, is the only way to make sure that your property and possessions will be distributed as you wanted after your death. We strongly urge everyone who has made their own Will, or used an online service or computer program to do so, to at the very least consult with a local attorney to ensure it is valid.

Copyright 1999-2018 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.