Saturday, March 29, 2008


Most people assume that, even without a will, their property will pass to their spouse or children when they die. Although this is often true, there are many unintended and unwanted consequences of dying without a will, including:

1. Lengthy delay in your spouse or children receiving your assets;

2. Unnecessary costs associated with probate as an “intestate” (person without a will), including the costs of appointing an attorney to try to locate any other potential heirs (required by law, even if everyone agrees that there are no other heirs);

3. Sale of your property in order to divide it between multiple heirs;

4. Increase in tax liability to your estate or your remaining spouse or children;

5. Property passing to persons that you did not intend to benefit from your estate; and

6. Inheritance of certain property by children from a prior marriage, rather than everything passing to one’s current spouse.

Therefore, we recommend that almost everyone consult with an attorney about preparing a simple will and related documents.