Me asked in Family & RelationshipsFamily · 9 years ago

How does one have to prepare for his/her own death in terms for the ones he/she leaves behind (ie. will, etc.)?

Update:

what has to be done? What if it is not all done - does the government take over the finances for example? Do the children and/or spouse automatically take over- or does it have to be in writing? I am not on my death bed now, far from it, but death is a question that's been on my mind now and then, since we all have to go through it, and I'm just wondering how does one prepare for it.

Also, how much does everythig cost? (the lawyer, legal stuff, the will, the coffin, etc.)

2 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Here's how it generally works when you don't have a will. When you don't have a will and die, you die "intestate" which means without a will. If you died with a will, then you would have died "testate".

    If you are unmarried and have no living heirs of any kind, then your estate "escheats" to the state or government depending on where you live (US State or Territory).

    However, if you have children, and are unmarried, then if you die without a will, your children are your heirs and they typically inherit your estate.

    If you have children and you're married, your spouse typically gets either 1/3 or 1/2 of your estate and the children get the remainder.

    If you have a will, but omitted children who were born after the will was made, then they can still inherit.

    Now, bottom line here, you should make a will to ensure that your property goes to whomever you want it to go to. Otherwise the intestacy laws will dictate who gets your money and property.

    So if you have no living heirs, absent a will, your estate goes to the state/government.

    However, if you have friends, family, charities, or a pet or whatever you want to have inherit stuff, then you make out a will. And the will says everything you want it to say.

    Finally, there's another option. You can create a trust. Put all your property in the trust, and then have the trust distribute your property as you wish, without a probate court getting involved.

    Also, you should consult an attorney in your jurisdiction. Many times a person dies and much of their estate is exempt from creditors because their estate is too small to be taxed, and not large enough to get around generous exemptions carved out to insure that heirs are not stiffed out of a home and have to go begging.

    So please hire a lawyer and get your situation straight, if in fact you have enough property to make it worth your while.

    How much does it cost? Depends on how much property is involved and the kinds of property. Simple wills are usually about $100 and up.

    A trust may be more involved and more complicated.

    Pre-need funeral preparations usually run about $7,000 to $8,000 for perpetual care, cremation or burial at sea. There are many non-profits that handle that.

    If you want to donate organs, you should sign up as an organ donor.

    If you anticipate an illness, make sure you have a living will (not a will or trust), durable power of attorney and health surrogate directives in place so that if you are unable to make decisions for yourself, like pulling the plug or donating organs after you die, you can spell all that out too. You can actually get many of those forms for free from your state or a local hospital.

    Good luck. I am worried, however, that you're anticipating your own death sooner than later. So I hope you get well instead.

    Source(s): Licensed in California and a volunteer in court mediator.
  • Chloe
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    My family wants me to make a will. It is a pain in the ***. Basically if you are legally married and you have no will, the spouse gets everything, if you're not married the government can take your estate. Couple thousand dollars to get a will for me because I need a trust because my sister is disabled. I am not looking forward to dealing with it. As far as burial I believe cremation is the least expensive. Cemetary plot prices you have to shop around.

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