If you die without a will, then you're putting your family in a potentially difficult situation. While your loved ones are grieving for you, they'll also have financial uncertainty and the possibility of substantial hardship when dealing with your assets.
Massachusetts Intestate Laws Govern Division of Assets
If you die without a will, your estate is governed by the Massachusetts laws of intestate succession. Pursuant to Massachusetts intestacy laws, if there's not a will, then there's varied asset allocation between survivors.
If you have children but not a spouse, the children inherit everything. If you have a surviving spouse but no children, the spouse receives all your assets. While this may seem rather cut and dried on the surface, things become much more complicated if you have surviving parents or children from a previous marriage and a surviving ex-spouse. Then intestate succession reallocates your assets to accommodate other survivors: your children and your parents may receive different levels of inheritance, for example.
Additionally, if your children are minors at the time of your death, then the amount to be distributed to your children will require a cumbersome and costly legal guardianship.
Protect Your Family by Creating a Will
Even if you've saved money or acquired property for your loved ones to have after you're gone, only you can express your detailed intent for this inheritance. In addition to the intestate succession laws, the new Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code imposes even greater restrictions you might not be aware of that may make your passing even more difficult for others to handle.
A proper will drafted by a skilled estate planning attorney ensures that what you leave behind goes directly to the people you want to receive it. Reduce the burden of financial complications for your loved ones. Contact Attorney Michael Monteforte, Jr. today to discuss your legal options.