Part of our responsibility to our family is preparing for our passing and making sure that the legal aspects of our affairs are as organized and manageable as possible.
A Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is a legal document that provides who is to receive your estate after your death, who will administer your estate, who will serve as guardian of your children, if applicable, and other provisions. It is important that your wishes are communicated to your loved ones and give them guidance in making difficult decisions. Questions of guardianship of children and even pets may be left to the courts if you die without a Will.
Sadly, 35% of Americans say they have had some sort of family conflict due to a loved one dying without a Will. Without clear direction on distributing your assets, your family may be left without direction and may experience conflict.
A well drafted Will helps make sure your loved ones are taken care of in the manner you wish, and can provide at least a small measure of comfort during a difficult time. Each state has laws governing Wills. Please contact your provider law firm for assistance.
If you pass away without a Will, it’s referred to as having died intestate. The laws of each state designate how the estate will be distributed when a person dies without a will. This means the laws of the state will direct how to divide your estate without your input, which could mean everything could end up not passing according to your wishes. This may leave issues for your spouse depending on how your assets are held. Your Will can designate who will take care of your minor children. Without a Will, the court must decide who is appropriate to be your children’s guardian without your input.
Probate is a legal court proceeding which transfers the property of your estate after your death. If the decedent had a will, part of the probate process is proving of the will. Clear and reasonable instructions are important for minimizing the possibility of legal challenges that could delay probate. The more this process drags on, the more fees the estate can end up paying.
By working with an estate planning lawyer to make sure your estate is in order, you can help arrange for timely and cost-effective distribution of estate upon your death. If you have a clear plan, it can reduce problems and can ease the burden of your death on your loved ones.
As your life changes, so should your Will. Major life events are often signs you should create, or update your Will.
- Purchase or Sale of home
- Business ownership
- Death of a loved one
Work with an experienced attorney to create a Last Will & Testament which can be updated each membership year to accommodate your needs as your life changes.
You've given excellent service with kindness and empathy for what my family is currently having to deal with. In times of heartache, the service was very helpful and the firm was extremely compassionate. Thank you.
Testimonials are from LegalShield members who may also be LegalShield independent associates. An associate is an independent contractor. The outcome and experience of any individual member will vary dependent on the facts and applicable law.
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