"Do I need a will?"

March 12, 2019

 

The lawyer answer is, that depends.* 

 

Here’s basically how it works:  when someone dies, state law determines how his property is passed to his heirs - unless he has a will.

 

My first questions to you will be:  

     What do you own?
     Do you have property and what kind of property is it?  
     Do you own real estate, a 401K, or a checking account?  
     Do you care if the state determines where your property goes if you die?  

 

Some types of property can have designated beneficiaries of your choosing and will pass to those persons when you die.  No will is needed for that property.  Other types of property can be titled in such a way to pass to designated friends or family when you die so that you don’t need a will for that property either.  Everything else, like homes, land, cars, jewelry, paintings, etc. will be distributed according to the state statute. 

 

If you don’t plan for your estate, then state law will apply and maybe you’re ok with that!  However, many people want to make sure their belongings and their property pass to exactly who they choose.  

Your best bet is to think about your property and the things you own and determine what you want to happen to those things if you die.  Next, make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to discuss your situation.  

 

I would be happy to help you make a plan for your future.  I offer one-hour consults and can review your current estate planning documents.  Call me to get started!  918-836-6461

 

*Everyone can die without a will unless you want your property to go somewhere specific when you die.  Most estate problems can be resolved later but usually require hiring a lawyer – and things might not resolve how you would have wanted!

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