What Are Some Consequences of Not Having Wills?

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    Stress on Family

    • If no one has designated distribution of property, the state will name an administrator of the estate. This person, usually a spouse or next of kin, is left with the decision as to how to divide the estate among living descendants. This highly stressful task can cause rifts in families if some family members do not believe the estate is divided fairly. Arguing and family feuds may begin over a living estate administrator's decision. Creating a will reduces the stress on a family already upset by death.

    Property Distribution

    • The property distribution is mandated by the state, as the administrator needs to assess and report the value of all real property assets. If there is a house or plot of land which should belong to a certain individual after a demise, this piece of land may be lost if the state demands the land be sold and the profits split among the surviving descendants. Be sure all real property is delivered to the correct people through a will.

    Tax Consequences

    • The state will collect taxes on land transfers after the landowner's demise. To avoid this taxation, transfer the land before death, or purchase a life insurance policy that will cover all taxes at the time of death. Any debts incurred or back taxes owed will be paid by the sale of real property, especially if the person does not have a will designating how debts will be cared for after death.

    Creating a Will

    • To create a will, contact an attorney. Ask specific questions regarding the law in your state. Ask questions regarding the administrator of the will, benefits for heirs and specific laws within the probate courts. Inquire about intestacy laws and make sure you understand these fully before finalizing your will. Hold council with your attorney and attend as many meetings as possible to determine the best course of action for loved ones and physical properties after death.

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