Issues with Distributing a Will
When it comes to distributing an estate, there are several potential issues that could arise. Our Buffalo estate planning lawyer explains some of the common issues with distributing a will that have been faced by our clients.
Issues with Distributing a Will | Deceased Person Without a Will
If a deceased person with no valid will owned assets in their name, those assets are distributed under the laws of intestacy in which the estate is called an administration. The person in charge, an administrator,has the same powers as an executor. The rules, at least up through distribution, are the same. The administrator collects the assets and pays the bills,and then looks to the law for distribution.
If a young person who only has parents dies, their assets go to the parents. If the person has a spouse but no children, it goes to the spouse.If the person has a spouse and children, everything is divided between spouse and children. After that, it goes to other relatives — all the way to first cousins. If you have an extended family, but no children, nieces or nephews,your estate can be given to more distant relatives, including people you have never met.
Even worse, a significant amount of your estate may be used up in the process of figuring out who these people are and having a court determine that this remaining family is entitled to your money.
Issues with Distributing a Will | Unmarried Partner Without a Will
Unmarried longtime partners face certain challenges when one of them dies. Absent a will or specific provision for the surviving partner,that partner has no legal rights under that estate. It’s very important that people in long-term relationships who choose not to marry create documentation to protect each other, including a will if they want their partner to have their assets.
They may also make certain the partner is entitled by putting them on the bank account or showing them as joint owner on a piece of property, ensuring their right to live there. Powers of attorney and healthcare proxies are very important in enabling partners to handle each other’s affairs.If you want your partner to be part of your healthcare process, provisions must be made. You must provide the appropriate documentation to be permitted to talk to doctors and participate in decision making.
If you are having any issues with distributing a will, either due to a deceased party or some other roadblock, please contact our experienced Buffalo estate planning lawyers today to schedule a legal consultation.