The Aftermath of Not Executing a Will? | Here’s What to Know.

When it comes to estate planning, there is a lot on the line for you and the family you leave behind. This is why executing a will is so pivotal. Here is a comprehensive guide to what happens if you forgo writing your will and how an experienced Nassau County estate planning lawyer at Barrows Levy PLLC can guide you through your options to ensure you make informed decisions.

What is the importance of drafting a will?

Essentially, a will allows you to express your wishes regarding the distribution or transfer of your assets after you die. A component of this significant document is the ability to select a number of people to execute your final wishes and carry out any responsibilities left on your behalf. A couple of examples are as follows:

Executor: you will appoint an executor who will administer your estate. They will ensure your assets are distributed according to your will, and also be in charge of closing your estate.
Guardian: you will appoint a guardian who will care for and raise your minor children in the instance that you are your other parent become unable to do so on your own. The court will have to appoint a guardian to raise your child if you fail to do so in your will.

What happens if I die without writing a will?

Passing without a will is called “intestate,” which means that your estate and assets will follow the arbitrary mechanism of a New York court.

With that, the following succession may occur:

  • When married: your spouse will receive the first $50,000, and then the balance will be split evenly between your spouse and your children. If you are married with no children, your spouse will receive all of your assets.
  • Children with no spouse: all of your property will be split evenly among your children. If you have no living children, your children’s descendants will evenly split the share. If not applicable, your estate will then go to your parents.
  • No living parents: your estate will then go to your parent’s closest descendants. If not, it will go to your grandparents and down from there.

Ultimately, if you have no surviving family members, then your estate will be escheat to the state of New York. If you are ready to develop a comprehensive strategy for your estate planning, do not hesitate to reach out to a skilled Nassau County estate planning lawyer today.

Contact Our Experienced Nassau County Firm

Barrows Levy PLLC is a dedicated New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you require a lawyer who has notable experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are available to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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