What to Do When Someone Dies Without a WillWhat to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

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What to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

Hello, my name is Kerry. Last year my mother died suddenly. When we went through her papers, we discovered she didn't have a will. My mother had been married to another man before she met my father and I had a couple of step brothers. Unfortunately, they turned up on our doorstep and started to demand that we hand over my mother's life savings to them and their family. I contacted a lawyer who specialises in probate law. She talked me through my case and explained how we would defend it in court. Thankfully, the matter was resolved to my satisfaction and I could start to grieve for my mother. I decided to start this blog to help others who have a contested will on their hands.

All You Need To Know About Wills

Most people postpone writing their will. Nevertheless, one should always have a will in place since they cannot anticipate their demise. So, what is a will, and what makes it so important? Below are some will FAQs to help you comprehend the benefits of this document. 

What Is A Will? 

A will is an estate planning document detailing how a deceased person, otherwise known as a testator, intends to distribute their wealth. Different jurisdictions have varying regulations on how one can make their will. However, Australia has specific regulations on how to write a will. For instance, two witnesses should witness the testator signing the document. Moreover, the testator should be of sound mind when signing this document. Finally, it should not have contradicting information or assign property that does not belong to the testator. 

How Do You Write A Will? 

The best approach would be hiring a wills and estates attorney to help you create the document. Nevertheless, the will should contain the following information;

How Do You Intend to Distribute Your Assets?

The basic principle is that the will can only distribute assets in your name. Therefore, before you commence the will-writing process, you should consolidate your assets. For instance, you should transfer all assets to your name to prevent confusion when executing the will. A will allows you to bequeath your dependents and gift your friends. As such, you have the freedom to decide how to distribute your assets.

Your Wishes

You can also leave a letter detailing your last wishes and testimony in the will. For instance, how would you like your body buried? Do you have an existing funeral plan? Would you like any rites performed on your body? You can also explain your estate-sharing rationale to your beneficiaries. For instance, you could explain why a specific beneficiary did not receive an equal share of the estate. It goes a long way in preventing will contests once you die. 

The Executor

An executor is an individual appointed by the testator to manage the estate once the testator dies and distribute the assets among the beneficiaries. The executor's primary role is filing for probate and paying estate taxes and debts. The executor also helps the beneficiaries transfer their inheritance to their names. As a testator, you must conduct due diligence to ensure the executor has your best interests at heart. If possible, the will should have more than one executor. This way, the beneficiaries do not have to rely on the court system if the primary executor relinquishes their duties. 

For more info about wills, contact a local company.