A last will and testament is a very important part of your estate. Your will provides specific instructions on your wishes as to who gets your property upon your death. If you do not have a last will and testament, the state is responsible for distributing your property and each state has a different set of rules regarding intestate succession.
Your state will use its own governing laws to determine which of your beneficiaries will receive what portion of your property. Some states may have different intestate succession laws and may use different formulas to determine where your property should go. If you are married, some states will automatically grant your estate to your surviving spouse while other states may give your spouse only a portion of your property and then distribute your remaining assets to your children. Again, these rules vary by state so it is important to learn more about the laws where you live when you begin planning your estate.
If you do not have heirs who are eligible to receive your property through your state’s intestate succession or if your state cannot locate your heirs, your property will simply revert to the state in which you live. In some areas, your second cousin may be as far down the line as the state will allow for intestate succession. In others however, relatives as distant as a fifth or sixth cousin may be eligible to your estate. Again, it is essential that you know the laws in your state so that you know what will happen to your property should you pass away without a last will and testament.
An estate planning attorney will be able to help you to determine where your property will go upon your death. It is always a good idea to plan for the future and having a will is a good part of that plan. This will ensure that your family will not have to wait for the state to determine what should happen to your assets. Having a will is a good way to protect your family and your property. If however, …Read the full story »