Estate Planning : If You Die Without a Will is Probate Necessary?
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Estate Planning : If You Die Without a Will is Probate Necessary?

If you die without a will, you still go through
probate. In fact it’s worse, a lot worse then dieing with a will because if you die without
a will you go through a special kind of probate. It’s called different things in different
states. I practice in Texas and we call it an heirship proceeding or a determination
of heirship. And what it means is, is that the judge doesn’t know who is entitled to
this property the deceased had when the deceased passed away so the judge needs to figure out,
and needs to have testimony as to who the blood kin of the deceased are because typically
in some order based upon again your state, certain family members are entitled to priority
when it comes to property. Others if they are more remote relatives may not end up with
any property. So dieing without a will frankly is the, I’ll use the term stupidest thing
that you can do. Because if you don’t have a will or the alternative would be you don’t
have a living trust, then you’ve left no instructions. Let me assure you that every state has instructions
for you and your will, your trust is written by the legislature. The legislature of your
state. Now you may be a good Republican or a good Democrat, you may love your legislature,
but most people don’t love their legislature. The legislature doesn’t know who you want
to get the money. The legislature certainly doesn’t know how much or how. Do you want
to just give it to them, you want to give it to them in a little trust so that it’s
not lost in about fifteen minutes. Dying without a will almost always includes having an extra
lawyer or two or three or four. Because again the court needs to figure out who the heirs
are, often times it’s going to be an extra lawyer hired by the family to go out and ascertain
who the deceased children where, who the deceased spouses were, who the deceased cousins and
other relatives are.

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