When a person dies without a will, their money and property will be distributed in accordance with the laws of the state they lived in. Some types of property, such as money in joint bank accounts or proceeds of a life insurance, will be distributed to the designated beneficiaries who are selected at the time of opening of the account or purchasing the insurance. But regarding money and property without such appointed beneficiaries, the most common way to control who receives it is by writing a will.
While will itself can often be simple, making sure that it is valid would require the knowledge of formalities specific to your state. It is also true that, as one goes through life, their intentions may change, and their financial holdings may become more complex. So a simple will would not be able to cover all the nuances of the situation.
Sometimes one may choose to start planning their estate by creating a trust. There are different types of trusts designed to accomplish different objectives, such as taking care of relatives in very specific ways (for instance, issuing them monthly stipend instead of granting them a lump sum of money), getting the most favorable tax assessments, etc. It may take a team consisting of an attorney, a tax accountant, and an investment advisor, to give you the best advice.
To make sure that your property and your money goes to the people you want to leave it to, and on the conditions of your choosing, it’s best to consult an attorney knowledgeable about wills, trusts and estates. Call Demidchik Law Firm to schedule a comprehensive consultation and review of your estate planning needs.