Establishing a will ensures your assets are preserved and your End of Life decisions are carried out. Without a will, the probate court ignores your End of Life wishes. Death without a will is called dying intestate. If a will is not available, the court, known as probate court, assigns an Executor. The Executor is an estate administrator, and is instructed by the court how to distribute your property.
You must understand that without a will, intestate succession takes away your rights and obstructs the ability of any beneficiaries and the people you love to inherit your assets. Your estate, large or small, pays the Executor every time he or she goes to court on your behalf. This means the value of your estate continues to shrink as long as the executor is getting paid.
Attorney-at-law Robert L. Shepard, specializing in estate planning and trusts
- What is at stake if I don’t make a will?
- How do I feel about losing the value of my estate to pay a court-appointed executor?
- How will my family and loved ones benefit if I have a will?
- You have children under the age of 18.
- You own property such as a house, land or cars.
- You have a bank account, or retirement funds with designated beneficiaries.
- You are separated but not divorced.
- You are living together as unmarried domestic partners.
- You are a same sex couple.
- You want someone other than your spouse and/or children to inherit your possessions.
- There is any chance family members will disagree with your End of Life decisions.
- You want to give a portion of your assets to a charity or other institution.
- You literally do not own anything.
- You do not care who gets what when you are gone.
- You want to pay a court appointed Executor.