At Huckabee, Weiler, & Levengood, P.C., we cannot overstate the importance of having an estate plan. We often have clients questioning the need for a basic will, but overlooking the necessity is a critical mistake.
The Consequences Of Dying Without A Will
Passing away without a will can pose many challenges for your personal representative. Not only can it complicate and prolong the estate administration process, but it also can be expensive. When the estate administration process is prolonged, the cost of attorneys' fees, court proceedings and taxes quickly add up. This will leave less money going to your heirs.
Dying without a will or estate plan can also pose more than just financial complications. Without a will, you give up your right to:
- Select a guardian of your minor children
- Choose the beneficiaries of your estate and their respective shares
- Appoint a personal representative of your choice who will administer your estate
- Decide who will inherit family heirlooms and items with sentimental value
- Leave assets to stepchildren
By creating a will, you can take back control and have the final say in what happens to your estate and family.
Who Will Inherit My Assets?
Your assets will be distributed according to Pennsylvania intestate succession laws if you pass away without a will. If your estate is valued at less than $50,000 and you are not the sole owner of real estate, your estate may bypass probate.
However, if your estate is valued at more than $50,000 and you are the sole owner of real estate, a probate judge will be involved.
If your estate is probated, a judge will have to determine your heirs-at-law. For example, if you pass away without a spouse, your estate will pass to your children. If you do not have any living children, it will go to their grandchildren.
Intestacy laws can be difficult to understand. However, our attorneys have practiced law for over three decades. We can help you to determine who your heirs-at-law maybe if you pass away.