What Happens To My Property If I Die Without A Will?
"You can't take it with you" is an old saying that has been passed through generations pertaining to possessions at the time of death. The age old dilemma of enjoying all the fruits of your labor or giving or providing for others after your death.
If you die with nothing, there is nothing to divide or nothing for those who believe they are entitled to bicker over.
If you die with a will, your property generally is devised to the stated party. However, the alternative is that you die without a will or plan and the court decides what to do with it and who gets it. This process can take a very long time. Why should the beneficiaries have to wait? Why should the court have a say in who gets your property? Even worse, if the court cannot decide, the property will pass to the state. Now all of your hard earned money, property, and assets pass to the state.
There are more ways to protect your estate and property than just a will. There is no single answer that is a catch all. The strategy is unique to the individual depending on the property, the party receiving, and the intentions of the owner of the property.Trusts, joint tenancy, naming beneficiaries, are all strategies that can avoid the probate court system and will generally be honored at the time of your death.
We are at an interesting time in America where the older generation, the baby boomers were more financially savvy than the previous generations. There are significantly less people who hide their money in their mattress. However, there are still a significant number of people who are not aware of the options they have and that they can put a plan in place to protect their property. Even upon death.
Changing people or a belief is extremely difficult. However, creating understanding and awareness is something that creates critical thinking and examination of issues. Discussing and examining these issues with a lawyer is not only prudent, but take away the stress, conflict, friction, and disputes regarding your property upon death. This plan should also address tax implications regarding the property. A sound lawyer will help you navigate these waters and protect your property.
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