When you die, what happens to your property? If you don’t have a will, it goes to those who the law says are heirs. These could be minor children, incapacitated adults, or distant relatives you’ve never met.
If you and your lawyer have written your will properly, your property will go to those who you want to receive it, with a minimum of fuss. But if you don’t have a will, or have a poorly written one, things can get complicated — and expensive.
If you don’t have a will, it can be difficult to find out who your heirs are and where to find them. And once they’re all located, a court-supervised administration of the estate is often necessary.
Even with a will, there can be complications. The will might be poorly written, ambiguous, or incomplete. It might not cover all your property. Unforeseen changes or contingencies can cause real problems. And family members might be dissatisfied and contest your will – it’s often said that “you never really know someone until you share an inheritance with them.”
A will takes effect through a court process called “probate.” Once that happens, your estate administration might be straightforward, or it might be complicated. Much of that depends on the skill, experience, and legal knowledge of the preparer of the will, and of the legal advisor at the time of probate.
Reagan McLain & Hatch LLP helps clients prepare wills and plan for the disposition of their property upon death. We also represent clients in all aspects of estate administration and, where necessary, litigation.