Really, Everyone Needs a Will
— To begin with, by having a will, you can control who receives your property after your death. Without a will, the state you live in determines how your property is distributed, and you likely would do it differently.
People don’t usually thinking about making a will until they are married and start a family. However, even a single, childless person should have a will.
Under Nebraska law, if you are an unmarried individual with no children and you have no will, your parents will automatically inherit your property upon your death—even if you might prefer someone else, such as your siblings, to inherit. If you were on Medicaid, then Medicaid—not your family—could receive your inheritance. Maybe one of your parents is your choice rather than having both of them share equally in your property.
If you are married with children and die without a Will, under Nebraska law your spouse and children would share your property, contrary to the normal expectation that your spouse would inherit everything.
The process of creating a will is neither time-consuming nor expensive. While there are standardized wills available on the internet, we strongly recommend utilizing the expertise of an attorney who is experienced in these matters. You don’t know what you don’t know, and neither does Legal Zoom. There are often complex legal and tax issues embedded in individual situations that are not be immediately apparent.
Many situations can make a will especially important:
- You have children from different marriages.
- You have significant assets, which may create an issue with state or federal estate taxes.
- You have a minor child who would need a guardian.
- Your beneficiary struggles with handling money well.
- You want to make charitable contributions.
- You have property in other states.
Once you have a will, it is important to revisit it with your attorney periodically and make sure it still suits your needs. For example, if your executor has become elderly and is no longer in the best position to handle the task, you may wish to consider changing the executor. If you move to another state, you should have your will checked by an attorney in the new state in order to make sure the will takes advantage of all the benefits of local laws. If the will is valid in another state, it will be honored in Nebraska.
Contact us for a no-cost conference to get started or make sure your existing will is up-to-date.