Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Have you ever considered what will happen to your assets -- your house, the contents of your bank account, etc. -- after you’ve passed? Many of my clients say they’d like their assets to be split between their children or to see certain funds go to charitable organizations. The only way to guarantee that your assets are distributed as you desire is to have a will.

If you don't have a will at the time of your death, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. (Intestacy is the legal term used to indicate that the deceased did not have a will). Under the laws of intestacy, your surviving spouse has the first claim to your assets. Depending on whether any money is left over after your spouse receives his/her share, your children will have a claim, and then your parents and siblings will have a claim if money is still available.

If you want to make these decisions instead of allowing your assets to be distributed according to a formula, you need to have a will.

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