Kevin W. Dougherty Funeral Home, Inc. - Livonia & Honeoye, New York

 

 

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If you don't currently have a will, your loved ones may not receive the assets you wish to leave them in the event of your death.

A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. A properly executed Will allows you to choose those individuals or organizations who will receive your property at death. It is also a statement of your desires as to who will be the guardian of your minor children and who will be responsible for distributing your assets (i.e., the executor of the Will).

In short, a Will allows you to:

  • Speak when you're no longer able to speak
  • Provide for the welfare of family and/or friends
  • Pass along your assets as intended
  • Arrange for the efficient management of your property

But, if you die without a Will (i.e., intestate), the state takes your place and directs the disposition of your assets. The state intestacy laws set out highly standardized and rigid rules that control who will succeed to ownership of your property at death. Although these succession statutes attempt to be fair and equitable, they more than likely will not provide for the distribution you prefer. For example, absent a Will:

  • If you have minor children, your spouse may need to go to court to be appointed guardian of the children's property. This may also require posting bond, annual accountings and judicial proceedings to act on behalf of the minor.
  • A simultaneous death of husband and wife could entrust the state with the care and support of minor children.
  • Generally, except for what statutorily passes to your surviving spouse, your children share equally in your estate. The impersonal nature of state intestacy laws deprives you of the opportunity to provide a greater share, for example, to a disabled daughter than to her healthy brother.
  • State law may divide your property between your surviving spouse and children contrary to your wishes.
  • An individual may not leave property to charity.
  • If there are no heirs, property may pass to the state rather than to friends and relatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Big Tree Street
Livonia, NY 14487
585-346-5401

8624 Main Street
Honeoye, NY 14471
585-229-2444

 

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