We all have a rendezvous with Death, but few of us like to think about it. That may be why almost half of American adults do not have a last will and testament. Estate planning is one of the most awkward and uncomfortable areas of law — and that’s really saying something! Because it’s distressing and disagreeable, most folks put it off until the very last minute — while others don’t get to it at all. This is always a mistake bankruptcy lawyer.
No Will, No Way
When a person passes away without a will (intestate), the distribution of assets must be settled in probate court. As a general rule, spouses and blood relatives will receive the lion’s share of the estate, while friends and loved ones are not entitled to anything under state law. To ensure that your assets are allocated according to your wishes, you must contact estate planning lawyers.
What Do They Do?
First and most importantly, they draw up legally-binding wills that cannot be disputed or contested in court. Most people do not realize how important this simple document is to those they leave behind. Even tight-knit families can encounter unforeseen disputes when the estate of a loved one must be divided. Add grief, resentment, and anger to the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. It’s no surprise that fighting over inheritance is a story as old as the pyramids.
Who Needs Them?
You might be young and as fit as a fiddle, but according to the experts, anyone who has substantial assets should have a last will and testament. Yes, the process is mostly about assets, but is also involves medical directives in the event that you should become incapacitated. It may be unlikely, but the tragic truth is that people of all ages sustain catastrophic injuries every day in America. And without specific medical directives in place, your family may be unable to determine exactly what you want done in any given circumstance. For example, they may not know whether you would want to be left on a life-support system for a prolonged period of time. This ambiguity can and has lead to protracted legal battles in the past.
At the end of the day, life is unpredictable. Most of think we have all the time in the world, but that is seldom the case. Estate planning and administration may initially seem morbid and uncomfortable, but it is also thoughtful and considerate. After all, the worst thing we could ever do to our loved ones is to leave them with an imbroglio if we should pass before our time.