When I started getting into trouble I became pretty acclimated to legal procedures. Calling my attorney and working out bail was just another way to spend a Saturday night. Unfortunately, the stiffer the charges, the more difficult it was to talk my way out of a bad situation. After so many charges, I found myself slapped with a long jail sentence, and I realized that I wanted to turn things around. Fortunately, my lawyer was able to walk me through yet another process, so that I could make the right changes. My blog discusses how to emotionally cope with legal issues so that you can start living a good life.
Thinking about the end of your life and drafting a will may not be the most uplifting activities, but they are necessary if you want to provide financial safeguards to your loved ones in case you pass away unexpectedly. Since it is impossible to predict when you will die, it is important to bite the bullet and prepare a will if you have not done so already.
It is also a good idea to keep your will current if there are major changes in your personal relationships or financial status. If these reasons are not good enough incentives to seek a lawyer to help prepare your will, consider the following consequences if you die without an updated will.
You Have No Choice of Executor
If you die intestate, without a will, that means that a complete stranger could possibly be given the right to oversee how your estate is handled. Your estate will be submitted to a probate court. A judge will appoint an administrator to oversee any claims against your estate.
Claims not only include the requests from close relatives to receive money and property from your estate but also any unpaid loans, bills plus administrative court fees. The administrator will pay off all bills and fees before deciding how to distribute the remainder of your assets.
In some states, the closest living adult relative can appointed the administrator. However, if there are multiple adult children or other relatives competing for control, your wishes for who decides how to divvy up your assets may not be honored because you did not leave a will specifying an executor.
Heirs You Did Not Like May Receive Some of Your Assets
While a court-appointed administrator will not disseminate your assets willy-nilly, they will not be privy to any disagreements you had with relatives. In some states, relatives that committed crimes against you or parents that abandoned you will not be able to profit from your estate.
Nevertheless, if you have estranged relatives that you do not want to receive anything from your estate when you die, do not waste any time in putting a will together so you can exclude them. This may seem like a crass matter to think about, but your children or loved ones deserve your assets, not someone who helped make your life miserable.
You Have No Control Over the Guardianship of Minor Children
If you have minor children, it is in your best interest to create a will as soon as you know you are expecting or when any adoption proceedings are complete, especially if you are single. Determining custody can be complex and involve several factors, including arcane state laws, if you die as an unmarried parent.
Your will needs to state who will be named the personal guardian of your children when you die. The last thing you want is for a court to make the decision for you. A judge will do their best to gather as much information as possible in order to make a good decision on who gets custody of your kids. However, while a judge is bound by law to act in the best interest of your children, the guardian appointed to raise the kids may not be your first choice.
The Chance of Legal Battles Can Excellerate Between Your Loved Ones
When you pass away without a will, you risk leaving your relatives to fight over your assets and the custody of your children. Even if you and your siblings seem to get along, you never know how death will affect them. Families that seem ideal and happy-go-lucky can turn on each other when a lot of money or property is at stake, forever changing their relationships with each other.
Do not let this happen because you did not make a will. You can spare your kin the expensive court battles that decrease the amount of your estate by taking the time to talk to your family lawyer and create a detailed will. Learn more by consulting law firms like Hazlett & Pedemonte.Share