As an estate Planning lawyer in Warwick, RI from a firm like McCarthy Law, LLC can explain, it’s never too early or late to start planning your future – and it’s a great way to make sure your loved ones are looked after when you aren’t able to anymore.
Dying without a Will
Unfortunately, too many people assume they either don’t have an estate worth dividing, or that their affairs will just be handled by the state once they die. Sadly, they couldn’t be farther from the truth: The state isn’t going to do the work for you, and no matter how few possessions you own, you’d be surprised at how greedy some people can be when it comes to claiming what you’re leaving behind.
If you die without leaving behind a will, the state will name a representative to handle your estate. This is typically a spouse or other close relative, but it’s not quite set in stone. If you have an ex-spouse or estranged children, they can contest the court’s appointed representative for their own ends, which has the unfortunate side-effect of denying your other family and friends any assets you’d want them to have after your death.
Instead of risking the decision of the state – and the inevitable drama that will happen when your family and friends can’t agree on the choice of representative – you can nip the problem in the bud by contacting an estate planning lawyer and leaving behind some concrete instructions for your loved ones.
Naming an Executor
After your death, your family and friend will be overwhelmed with grief. The last thing you want to do is add some unnecessary drama and stress by not leaving them any instructions for what should be done with your assets after you die. When you contact an estate planning lawyer, you’re working with a legal professional to create a will (or living trust) so you can minimize the pain of your passing.
A major part of drafting a will is choosing your executor. Your executor is a trusted individual that you elect to handle your estate (and its division) after your death. This takes the challenges out of a court-appointed representative, because, unlike the court’s choice, your executor is someone you know that is hand-picked for the job.
The executor needs to carry out the instructions in your will. This means overseeing the entire probate process, which can be a headache in itself. The position of executor is one of trust, duty, and care, and when you contact an estate planning lawyer you can work with your legal advisor to ensure you make the right choice. While it’s still possible for a disgruntled acquaintance to dispute the choice of executor, contesting the executor is much more difficult when your own instructions explicitly name someone you trust.
Don’t leave your future up to chance. Get in touch with an estate planning lawyer as soon as possible, and take steps to minimize any potential drama upon your death.