The importance of estate planning

| May 18, 2020 | Estate Planning |

During uncertain times, families may need emergency estate planning services. Wills represent one component of estate planning. These legal documents allow people to express how they would like their estate divided after they have died. 

Without a valid will, an impersonal process oversees the decedent’s property division. 

Meaning of “intestate” 

The term “intestate” refers to having died without leaving a will. People who die intestate are unable to influence the distribution of their property. Instead, a probate court determines how to transfer their belongings and divide their estate. 

The probate process can be lengthy, as well as costly, and it may not ultimately reflect the deceased’s wishes. Although the presence of a will does not allow the surviving family members to avoid probate court, it can expedite the process. 

Property division 

The intestacy laws apply only to relatives, and they describe the route of inheritance of a deceased person’s estate. If someone has died without a will and was part of an unmarried couple, that person’s partner cannot inherit his or her property. Instead, the decedent’s property goes to his or her relatives, and it is as if the deceased person had been single. 

According to the laws of intestate succession, if a person dies while single and without children, then his or her parents receive the entire estate. If one parent has died, then the surviving parent and any siblings receive the property. In the case that both parents have already died, the decedent’s siblings each get equal parts of the entire estate. 

The parents, siblings, and descendants of the siblings, such as nephews and nieces, may no longer be alive. If so, the decedent’s belongings become split equally between relatives on the father’s side and relatives on the mother’s side. For someone who is single with children at the time of death, his or her children receive the entire estate in equal shares. 

Dividing property in accordance with these laws can cause conflict, especially during crises. In addition to a will, emergency estate planning services such as rush estate plans, deathbed planning, hospital visits and house calls may lessen the family’s disappointment and confusion.