What is a Last Will and Testament?
Writing a "will" is probably one of the smartest things you can do. This document tells lawyers and others how you want your property distributed. It speeds up the probate time because the courts don't have to guess how you want your property divided.
Why should I have a Will?
There are several reasons to make a Will and why it is a good idea.
Without a Will, the law and the court will decide who gets what regardless of what is best for your children or heirs. A Will also prevents your property from reverting back to the government. A Will is the most important part of estate planning.
What happens if I die without a Will?
Dying without a will - known as dying "intestate" - means you have no say over who receives your assets, and can leave your heirs and the court system the complex and costly job of wrangling over who should get what.
Your assets go into what's called "probate" - an expensive and drawn out legal process which determines who inherits your estate, and can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on how complicated the estate is.
So-called intestacy laws vary considerably from state to state. In general, though, if you die and leave a spouse and kids, your assets will be split between your surviving mate and children. If you're single with no children, then the state is likely to decide who among your blood relatives will inherit your estate.
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