If there only was a will!!

iStock_000022715918XSmallWHAT COULD BE WORSE THAN LOSING YOUR SPOUSE?

Having to go through it, knowing there is no will because after talking about if for years, you never got around to it.

SO MANY QUESTIONS??

Will the kids agree to let you stay in the house?

How will you sift through all the documents by yourself?

Where do you start?

Many widows/widowers have had these same thoughts and many have gone through this unnecessarily.

To most people it just doesn’t seem that important. Dead is dead and many believe all the assets will pass to the spouse.

In the US regardless of the state you live in most states have intestate laws, which addresses when someone dies without a will. If your spouse died without a will, then each state will have certain procedures you must follow. And if there are special family issues, like second marriages and step children or no children, then it can get real messy real quick.

DO NOT RUSH INTO ANYTHING!!

First things first, if your spouse didn’t have a will, contact a local attorney that specializes in estate laws in your state. If you don’t have one, ask your CPA, CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or your local banker for a referral.

Second, if your spouse has a will. Contact the attorney that drew it up and set up appointment to begin the process to settle the estate.

Third, do not… I repeat do not do anything with your assets until you sit down with an your financial team (CPA, CFP and Attorney). Better yet, don’t move anything for at least six months to one year unless recommended by someone on your financial team (CPA, CFP, Attorney).

In my 31 years have seen more widows/widowers make mistakes by rushing into something right after a loved one dies than any other time in their lives. If anyone makes any recommendations before the six month time table, then they should have them approved by you, your CPA, Attorney and CFP and if all agree then you can proceed.

TAKE ACTION

So my suggestion is to bite the bullet and call TODAY and make an appointment with an attorney to draw up your will or update especially if it has not been looked at it in over 5 years.

Remember we all have an estate plan, the one written by our state. So take the time to re-write your plan for your family’s benefit rather than the state’s.

Disclosure

I think most of you know that I am not, nor do I pretend to be an attorney. So please don’t mistake this post as a replacement of sitting down with your personal attorney and designing your estate plan. This is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as any form of legal advice. Please do your own due diligence.

If you have questions or comments – please feel free to use the contact button to the right or if you would like to offer some comment or question in which everyone could benefit, you can use the form below.


Take Care,

Jerry Broussard

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