Inheriting a loved one’s estate can be a complex and emotional process, made even more complicated when the deceased does not have a will. This situation is known as probate, which can create challenges for the person overseeing the estate. If you find yourself in this position, you should know a few things.
- The state decides.
The first thing to understand is that without a will, the state where the deceased lived will dictate how the estate is divided. This can often lead to situations where the wishes of the deceased are not fulfilled and loved ones may receive something or less than they expected.
- Multiple heirs create multiple headaches.
Also, if there are many heirs with varying degrees of relationship to the deceased, such as cousins or distant relatives, they may all have the same claim to the estate. This can result in long and costly legal battles.
- No executors or guardians.
Another challenge with inheritance is that without a will there is no executor to administer the estate. This responsibility usually falls to the next of kin, but that person may not be ready or willing to take on such a task. In addition, without a will, there is no designated guardian for any minor children the deceased may have left behind. This can create additional stress and complications for those who are already grieving the loss of a loved one.
- Time moves on.
Please believe us when we tell you that the probate court moved at a snail’s pace. What should take weeks to resolve will often drag on for months or even years if there is no will. The funds sit untouched and cannot be used to pay off personal bills such as college tuition.
Employees can take advantage of group legal plans that offer the writing of simple wills. Nationwide Prepaid Legal Services provides this option in a group legal plan.
We use the best
Countrywide has a nationwide network of lawyers who are the primary providers of our prepaid legal services. We have one in the community for every group client with a legal plan, and scheduling a conference with a nationwide attorney is not a problem.
There is so much that goes into writing a good will. The document must not only name the executor, beneficiaries, any guardians or restrictions. In addition, the will must be consistent with existing state law. This is not something anyone should trust for an online template.
Our lawyers know what should be in the paperwork. They patiently explain to the group members what is needed. The Nationwide attorney also listens carefully to what a plan member wants in the will. The final document complies with existing state law.
We will never create an employee benefit without input from a client’s decision maker. We have several prepaid legal services that can be included in the plan document, but we want the prospective client to decide what options will be available to the employees.
Our process involves explaining all of our pre-paid legal services to a prospective client’s management. We encourage questions and provide answers. The client then decides what should be included in the class action plan. We provide administration and membership services.
We also provide annual reminders to plan members. For example, a legal will should be updated when circumstances change. The reminder gives a person the opportunity to make the necessary changes.
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be incredibly challenging when there is no will in place. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to understand the challenges you may face. With knowledge and preparation, you can navigate the process as smoothly as possible. Nationwide is ready to help.
If you want to know more about us, you are welcome to contact us at your convenience. We welcome any opportunity to speak with you.