Wills and probate are not a likable topic for people to discuss with their family or friends. In fact, most of them even avoid looking into these matters and exploring their options altogether. However, learning about the basics of wills and other aspects of estate planning is essential to realize their importance and benefits for the future of your family. You should take time out to understand the key rudiments of wills and probate in order to be able to tell apart myths from the facts. Here are a few common misconceptions about wills and probate you should know about.
- The state will own your assets if there is no will in place after you die
This is not true at all. When a person passes away without a will, state law applies on your estate. Every state has a different state law. In Illinois, the rule of descent and distribution comes into effect to determine the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate and who will get what. Generally, every person has a default estate plan based on their assets, income, and property. If you think the default estate plan is not good enough, you should consider creating a will with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. However, in certain unusual circumstances, the state may confiscate your assets and property.
- Marriage or getting remarried does not affect the will
If you get married, any of your existing wills will become invalid. However, divorcing your ex-spouse will not invalidate your will, although the benefits they may receive after you pass away will be shared with other beneficiaries.
- High costs of probate will consume all the estate
One of the reasons people put off the idea of getting a will is because of the high costs and contentious nature of the probate process. Since it is essential for the deceased’s assets to go through probate upon execution of a will, there is a misconception that the high costs will eat up all assets. However, this is not true. While probate does entail several costs and fees, they may cost up to 5 percent of the estate’s value, if there the case does not go into litigation or your attorney charges an exorbitant fee.
- The oldest child is the executors of a parent’s estate
This may be true in certain cases, but generally if there is a will in place, the grantor has named an executor to oversee the process and make sure their wishes are carried out in the right way. A court may disqualify a named executor under special circumstances, like they have become disabled or incarcerated for a crime. In such a situation, the court may refer to state law and decide who should be appointed as the executor, which is usually the surviving spouse and after that, the children.
Consult with An Elgin Estate Planning Attorney Today
It is always best to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and provide real insights into the matter and debunking any myths or misconceptions you may have. Contact the Jackson Abdalla Law Group today at (773) 550-3853 to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your estate planning needs.