Wills and Property Division
The death of a loved one is a highly emotional and unfortunate occurrence. Most married couples do not like to think ahead to the future when one spouse might pass away. However, it is important to plan for the unexpected. Up to 60% of American households have not prepared a will to dictate property division in the event of an untimely death. Unfortunately, this often leads to further emotional stress through family feuds, excessive debt, and estate taxes.
It is important to have a will prepared for a variety of reasons:
- A will allows you to control how your estate is divided among friends and family members. If a person has not left a will, his or her family must go to court to decide how the estate will be divided among them. Though generally fair, the final division of a person’s estate will most likely not match with their true wishes, and any specific requests may not be honored.
- A will prevents a family from spending time, money, and emotional strain through fighting over your estate. Especially in the event of a large estate, the family of the deceased may begin to resent each other and may become involved in lengthy fights. Sometimes these arguments end with ruined relationships and become very expensive.
- A will protects your family from the influence of outsiders. Without a will, long-lost relatives may come into the picture and try to claim a part of the estate. In rare cases, strangers may claim to be old relatives or friends in an attempt to secure some of the inheritance. Although these claims are undeniably questionable, they still put your family at financial risk and may force them to spend significant resources refuting the claims.
If you do have a will in existence, it is important to make the necessary changes after a divorce or separation to make sure that your final wishes are carried out.
A divorce can change many aspects of your life, including the division of your property and the stipulations set forth in our will. If you are considering a divorce and have any questions about an existing will, property division, or other details, contact the Raleigh divorce lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC today at (919) 833-1040.