Do You Need A Will?
Everyone should have a will to direct how their assets should be distributed upon their death. If you die without a will, the state will determine who gets your property — and that could lead to some outcomes that you would want to avoid.
I am attorney Mitchell P. Sandler. Over the past 30 years, I have drafted wills and other estate planning documents for clients on Long Island, in Nassau County and throughout New York.
Contact my office today to schedule an appointment. I offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions about wills.
What Does A Will Do?
A last will and testament does four basic things:
- Designates a personal representative/executor to oversee administration of your estate
- Leaves specific items of personal property to the individuals who will most appreciate them
- Leaves property or money to loved ones and charities
- Appoints any necessary guardian for minors or incapacitated adults in your charge
The more clear your will is, the less likely any dispute will arise among friends and family upon your passing. A will can also determine when your children should receive their inheritance. Few people would want to have their children receive their entire inheritance when they are 18 years old. However, these are the types of things that can happen if you don’t have a will.
What Happens If I Die Without A Will?
If you die without a will, your property and assets will be distributed according to New York state law (see intestate succession). However, this may not be how you would want your assets distributed. For example, if your spouse is incapacitated and living in a nursing home, leaving assets to your spouse could result in those assets going to the government.
The state will appoint a personal representative/executor — which may not be the person you would want to oversee administration of your estate.