We all know how important it is to create a Will, but what happens if we don’t? Where will your assets go? How will your estate be divided?
All fair questions – and here’s the answer: if you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to what is known as intestacy or “succession” laws. And if that happens, it probably won’t be done in the way you might have liked.
Intestacy law basically is a law that determines who has a right to inherit in the case where there is no Last Will and Testament. Typically, this distribution will start you’re your most immediate family, such as your spouse and kids. You won’t however, have a say in what or how much each person gets.
A valid Will ensures that you get to decide what happens to your estate after you die. Having a complete estate plan can provide additional benefits such as reducing the amount of tax liability that will be taken out of your estate before anyone can inherit. Without proper planning, your beneficiaries might receive only a small fraction of your estate after all is said and done.
To ensure that your estate and your loved ones are protected, take some time to think about how you would like your assets to be divided after you’re gone. Who would you want your money and property to go to, and how much should be given to each person?
When you have some idea of what you would like in your will, then you can contact an estate-planning attorney to help you with the specifics. An experienced attorney will ensure that your assets are protected and that taxes don’t eat up the estate you plan to leave to your loved ones.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.