What happens to my property if I die without a will?
The property belonging to someone who passes away without a will usually goes through the probate process. Whether probate is required or not depends on the nature of the property owned. An experienced attorney can help guide the administrator of the estate through this process.
If I don’t have a will or trust, will step-children or charities inherit from my estate?
If someone dies without a will, the only people who can inherit are those related by blood. Therefore, non-biological children, friends, or charities will received nothing from your estate unless you have a properly drafted will or trust.
If I have minor children, can I somehow make sure they don’t receive an inheritance until they are mature enough to handle it?
A properly drafted estate plan can ensure that your children will only receive an inheritance at the age you deem appropriate. You can designate that they receive the inheritance all at once or you can stagger the distribution (i.e., ½ at 25 years old, ½ at 30 years old).
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