The short method for making sure your estate is a mess is don’t make a will. This “Part One” blog will discuss not making a will. The next shortest method of making sure your estate is a mess is make the will incorrectly. Part Two of How to Make Sure Your Estate is a Mess will discuss making the will incorrectly.
People often say, “I don’t need a will. I don’t have anything.” However, I bet those people do have things. I bet they have at least one bank account. They probably have a car, and they may have a home (usually with a mortgage). Sometimes they have jobs with money owed to them and retirement accounts without a beneficiary on them.
If you don’t make a will, are your heirs going to ignore your bank account, let your car sit where it is parked until the lender repossesses it or the city tows it away, and throw away all of the paperwork sent by your mortgage company when they try to foreclose on your home? Most people won’t walk away from your assets, even if they are small. They try to do the right thing, and not making a will guarantees it will be much more difficult for your heirs.
If you don’t make a will, Florida law states that your assets will be distributed to your spouse and children. If your children are not the children of your spouse, the spouse takes 50% and the children take 50%. If you don’t have children, the spouse takes 100%. If you don’t have a spouse, the children take 100%. Do all of these people get along, or will they fight amongst each other?
What if one of your children dies before you? Uh-oh. That child’s share goes to his or her children (your grandchildren). Are your grandchildren adults? If not, a guardianship may be required to receive the grandchild’s share. Will their surviving parent cooperate and get along with the other heirs?
What if you don’t have a spouse or children? Now, the law starts looking for parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, or even cousins. How easy will it be to find those people and obtain their cooperation with a probate proceeding?
You can easily see how quickly “I don’t need a will because I don’t have anything” becomes a big mess that is expensive, time consuming, and difficult to resolve. By making a will, you name the person or persons who will administer your estate and the person or persons who will receive your assets.
The cost of making a will is much less than the cost of cleaning up a mess after your death. Blackburn Law Firm, PLLC – LifePlanLaw.com makes it as easy and affordable as possible to make a will. If you know your wishes and do not need an attorney to help you make decisions, you can visit www.MySimpleLifePlan.com for a very affordable way to make a will, health care directives, and power of attorney. If you prefer to speak with an attorney about your wishes, Estate Planning, Probate, Medicaid, or LGBTQ legal services, contact LifePlanLaw.com – Blackburn Law Firm, PLLC today at 727-826-0923.