For families with fewer assets, they may just need the most basic tool of all: a will. It can be the first appropriate step (and a simple low cost solution) when no other estate planning has been done.
Most people are aware that they need a will, however about 70% of us--don't have one. People put it off for many reasons, but it's important to know that writing a will is usually not complicated or expensive. Once it's done, you can rest a little easier, knowing that your wishes will be followed after your death.
What happens if you die without a will?
If you don't make a will or use some legal method to transfer your assets
when you die, Massachusetts law will determine what happens to your property.
Your property will be distributed to your spouse and children or, if you
have neither, to other relatives according to a predetermined legal formula.
If no relatives can be found to inherit your property, it will go to the
Problems with simple wills
A will may not be the best plan for you and your family because a will must be probated when you die. A will must be verified by the probate court before it can be enforced.t can be expensive. Legal/executor fees and other costs must be paid before your assets can be fully distributed to your heirs.
Probate can take a long time anywhere from 9 months to 2 years. Most of this time the assets are cannot be used so an accurate inventory can be taken. The court has control and nothing can be distributed or sold without court and/or executor approval. If your family needs money to live on, they must request a living allowance, which may be denied.
Probate is a public process and your family has no privacy. Any "interested party" can examine what you owned and who you owed. Probate pften attracts disgruntled heirs to contest your will. Your family will have no control. The probate court determines how much it will cost, how long it will take, and what information is made public.
Find an Estate Planning Attorney | Living Trusts | Estate Planning Basics | Simple Wills | Advanced Estate Planning | Probate and Trust Administration | Home page
All contents copyright MassachusettsEstatePlanning.com 2000.
Website designed, maintained and hosted by LawyerViews.com
MassachusettsEstatePlanning.com is a Service of the Law Offices of K. William Kyros, PC
located in Boston, Massachusetts. The law firm helping lawyers and their clients use the internet to find qualified legal counsel.
Lawyerviews.com Voted the #1 Web Site development company in the 2000 Lawyers Weekly Readers Choice poll.
Need a another type of Massachusetts Lawyer? Visit Lawyer-Referral.com