The Importance of Wills

When a loved one dies, it can be a trying time emotionally for everyone involved. Often times after death, it can also be stressful to figure out the distribution of the recently deceased’s assets, property, and belongings. When a person dies without a will, it can lead to a lot of fighting and arguing among the survivors, and it can also lead to a legal battle. It is extremely important to draft a will before you die if you want your assets distributed a certain way. It is advisable to consult an estate planning attorney to help you draft your will and make your asset distribution less stressful for your survivors.

Testate or Intestatebox-1209969_1920

When it comes to wills, there are two words that you may hear a lot: testate and intestate. These two words are used to described people and whether they have a will or not. If you do have a will at the time of your passing, then you died testate. If you do not have a will at the time of your passing, then you have died intestate. When you die testate, it makes it much easier for your family and friends to determine what you wanted done with all of your assets, property, possessions, and everything else. If you happened to die intestate, then state law determines what happens to your property, assets, possessions, and everything else.

Dying Intestate

If you died intestate, then the loved ones you have left behind will have to go through the probate process. The probate process in North Dakota, like in most other states, is complex and it is best that you hire a North Dakota probate attorney if you ever have to go through it. The court will need to find and appoint someone to be an executor of your estate, and then your property, possessions, and assets will all be distributed based on North Dakota Law. The way everything gets distributed and dealt with may be vastly different from what you want, so if you can, make sure to draft a will.

The Executor

When you make the decision to move forward on drafting a will, you decide who gets your possessions, assets, and property when you die. The executor is who you appoint in your will to carry out the will’s instructions and organize your estate. It is important to appoint someone you trust, and someone who is responsible and has the present ability to carry out the will’s instructions as you wish. If you die intestate, you leave it up to the court to decide who the executor of your estate is, and it could be someone who you do not approve of.  As long as what is proscribed in your will is legal, your wishes and asset distribution will be carried out.

The North Dakota probate attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss are experienced attorneys who will guide you through the estate planning process and make sure you have your affairs exactly how you want them. Stephen Welle is an experienced estate planning law attorney and will help you develop a will that will put your mind at ease. Call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 today.

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