Creating a Last Will And Testament is your chance to exercise your right to dictate how your Estate will be administered. Generally speaking, the Last Will And Testament serves two main purposes: first, you direct how your belongings and real estate will be distributed (and to whom your various assets will be distributed); and second, you select the person to serve as your Executor, meaning that you select the person in charge of your Estate.
If your Estate does not qualify as a “Small Estate” and you do not have a valid Last Will And Testament, then someone will need to petition the Court to serve as an Administrator of your Estate. The Probate Act of 1975 lists the order of preference for individuals to either serve as Administrator or appoint someone to serve as Administrator, starting with your spouse, then children, then grandchildren, then parents, then siblings and so on.
If a class of individuals all have the same preference and all wish to serve as the Administrator, the Court must select the individual(s) who will serve. In other words, your children or parents or siblings might be left to argue amongst themselves, and in front of a Judge, about which of them should serve as the Administrator of your Estate.
An Estate Attorney Can Help Greiving Families
Unfortunately, grief brings out the worst side of many people. Even generally reasonable people can find themselves at odds with other generally reasonable family members, if they are all left to figure things out on their own. An estate plan (including a Last Will And Testament) allows you to give guidance and instruction, so as to minimize inter-family strife.
If you are considering whether you should have a Last Will And Testament, likely the answer is yes. The attorneys of Tapella & Eberspacher LLC will gladly meet with you to discuss your options. Please contact us today!