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Estate Planning Lawyer Belgrade, MT

Estate Planning Lawyer Belgrade, MTEstate Planning Lawyer Belgrade, MT

There is a misconception that if a married couple does not have children, then creating an estate plan is not time-sensitive. However, there are many good reasons for creating a will and/or a trust, regardless of whether you have children or not. Having an estate plan in place helps to ensure that one’s final wishes are honored. If you and your spouse do not have a will or trust in place and/or you have yet to establish power of attorney and advanced healthcare directives and other critical estate planning tools, please consider connecting with an estate planning lawyer Belgrade, MT residents trust. At Silverman Law Office, PLLC, we understand how to protect your interests, regardless of whether you need to consider the future needs of any minor children you may have. 

Without a Will in Place, Asset Distribution will be Determined by a Probate Court

When a person has a will, that document will state who should inherit the individual’s assets after their passing. Most states have legislation on the books that establishes any surviving spouse as the automatic heir of the decedent’s estate. This may be an acceptable scenario in many situations, but there are times when it will not reflect the wishes of the deceased. In addition, there is the critical challenge posed by the possibility that both spouses could perish simultaneously during an accident. Without a will in place, who will inherit their assets if no estate plan has been established for either individual? In this scenario, a probate court will likely rule that the spouses’ closest living relatives will inherit the assets in question. If you and your spouse would like your assets to be distributed differently in the event of your passing, it’s important to work with a Belgrade, MT estate planning lawyer to put an alternative plan into place. 

Step Children are Not Automatically Eligible to Inherit

Unlike biological children, step children are not generally considered the step parent’s next of kin. Therefore, unless there is a will in place that names the step children as heirs, they will be passed over by a probate court in favor of biological relatives. This could be an issue if a biological parent dies before the step parent does. Even if they both succumb to their injuries from the same accident, if it is determined that the biological parent passed away first, the step children may lose their inheritance if there is not an estate plan naming them as heirs. Theoretically, a biological relative could petition the court and seek to inherit the estate’s assets rather than the step children. If you have step children and want to protect their interests, our Belgrade, MT estate planning lawyer team can help. 

Seeking Additional Assistance

If you have not constructed a will or otherwise put a comprehensive estate plan into effect, please connect with an experienced Belgrade, Montana estate planning lawyer today. None of us knows how long we will have before our estate plans become urgent business. Whether you have minor children to consider or not, it’s imperative that you take steps to protect your wishes as soon as you can. We look forward to speaking with you. 

 

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