Talking about death is never a comfortable conversation. Whether it is your own pending death, or a loved one who is dying, it is a painful thing. There is one conversation that you should have before it comes to that – and no one knows when that time will be – that is the conversation about your Last Will and Testament.
One thing is for sure: the probate process after one has died is much more difficult to navigate if you die intestate – or without a Will. It makes things much more complicated for surviving family members who will have to sort it all out. Drawing up a Will is not a complicated process, but it will save you time and money post mortem.
As soon as you have anything, it is time to start planning a Will. If you own property, have investments, or have inherited something valuable from someone – all of that should go into your Will. And if you have children, a Will is necessary to protect them and their well-being should something happen to you. You will want to choose their future guardians and not leave that decision up to the state.
If you are married and your spouse dies, you will inherit everything, unless otherwise specified in a Will. If there is no spouse, but you have children, then your children will inherit everything. If you are unmarried and don’t have children, or they have not survived you, then everything will go to your next of kin.
This could be your parents, it could be siblings, or nieces and nephews. The bottom line is that there may be people who you want to exclude from your inheritance, but the only way to do this, and be assured that your wishes are respected, is to have a Will.
This is a very important series of decisions that you are going to put into place that are going to effect the survivorship of your estate, so it is very important to seek counsel when writing your Will.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.