Wills are powerful legal documents that make your final wishes legally enforceable, ensuring that your property is given to those you choose. Many people assume that their family members will know what to do with their belongings after their death, but in some cases, they may not have a choice in the matter. Below are just a few negative consequences of passing away without preparing a will.
5 Consequences of Not Preparing a Will
1. Your Property Can Be Given to Your Family
If you die without preparing a valid will, your belongings will likely be given to your family members—even if you’re estranged. State intestacy laws give no weight to the quality of your relationships, so your property likely will not be given to those you choose.
2. Your Family May Fight Over Assets
The death of a family member often sparks bitter conflicts over assets and belongings of sentimental value, sometimes leading to extensive, costly litigation. Wills have the power of court order, so your wishes will be respected even if your family members disapprove.
3. Your Children or Pets May Not Receive the Care You Want
Along with leaving instructions about the distribution of your property, a will allows you to designate a guardian for your children or pets. Without a will, the court will likely give your children to your closest family member without regard to your wishes.
4. You May Not Get the Funeral You Wish
In your will, you may leave instructions about the funeral or memorial service you would wish for yourself. Otherwise, your family members are free to celebrate your life and dispose of your remains as they see fit, which can also lead to stress and conflict among them.
5. Your Executor May Not Be Someone You Trust
Your will gives you the opportunity to select an executor, who will be in charge of guiding your estate through the probate process and distributing your assets. When someone dies without preparing a will, the court will appoint someone to fulfill this important role, and it may not be someone you trust.
As a legal team dedicated exclusively to elder law issues, the attorneys at Drake Law Firm PA understand how important your belongings and loved ones are to you. Whether you’re writing a will or need assistance navigating the Medicaid process, you can rely on these accomplished professionals for the guidance and compassionate service you deserve. Visit their website or call (870) 425-2460 to make an appointment, and follow their Facebook for updates and news.