The coronavirus pandemic is making a Will critical to complete now — not something to put off until "someday." Writing a Will lets you determine who inherits your assets and raises your minor children under age 18. Without a Will, the state you live in will decide who gets what by default intestacy laws, leaving conflict, confusion, and hardship behind. Dying without a Will also creates additional legal expenses for your estate.
What Will Happen If You Die Without a Will
- If you have remarried and have children from a prior relationship, your assets could go mainly to the children, leaving your current spouse without sufficient finances.
- If you are single, your assets might go to your parents (then siblings) even if you are estranged.
- If you have a life partner, that person may receive nothing without legal status, even though they may be financially dependent on you and/or living with you.
Ensuring your Will is Valid
If you write your own Will, there is no way to know if it is valid or will be accepted by the probate court. An estate planning attorney in your state can make sure legal requirements are met, and any family conflict is minimized.
The Coronavirus Caveat
Many estate planning attorneys are currently offering Zoom meetings rather than face to face meetings, and they are doing virtual signings or express signings from a safe distance.
Life is fragile right now, and the consequences of dying without a Will have never been more significant.