What to do if you still don't have a will

What to know when preparing your will
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - One of the top lawyers in Minnesota says resolving Prince's estate could get complicated, since the music icon did not leave a will behind.

It's a touchy subject for many families when a loved one passes away without leaving direction for their estate.

Writing a will isn't always the most enjoyable task, but a Cape Girardeau attorney said creating one of the most critical things you can do for your loved ones.

John Heisserer said there's no specific age for when you should get one, only when you begin to acquire more significant assets should you think about starting the process.

If you die without one, the state is left to decide how your estate should be distributed, which can cause turmoil between family members.

"If you don't have guidance than you often times get people that do fight and complain about how the distribution is made," said Heisserer. "But the courts hands are generally tied by statute that they have to follow decent and distribution. So, you can avoid all of those problems by planning for your estate in advance."

So, what if you don't have one?

Heisserer said there are things you should always consider before you begin the process.

Find a lawyer you are comfortable with experience with estate planning.

Decide who you want to control your estate upon your death. Heisserer said a lot of people don't have a clear idea as to who that person is right away.

Also, know all of your assets so you can talk about those things with your lawyer.

You are not required to hire a lawyer to prepare your will.

Unless your situation is complicated; a second marriage, numerous assets, tax issues, Heisserer said you probably don't need one; however, he does recommend it.

Hiring a lawyer will set you back a few hundred dollars depending on your situation and usually your first meeting with them is free.

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