A Will is and extremely important document that you will need your life. In fact, many argue that the will and last testament is the absolute most important document that your will ever create. What makes the Will so important is the fact that upon your death no one really knows who you intend to leave your assets or belongings to. For example, say you have an uncle James who lives in Maryland. This uncle has lived a very long life and in fact has accumulate quite a few in assets and wealth. Further, your uncle never got married and truly developed a great relationship with you and your brother. Your uncle subsequently passes away and leaves no will or last testament. As such there is no clear way of understanding who your uncle intended to leave his estate to. The fact of intention or showing intention is very important in cases of intestacy or inheritance. Your uncle had an equal relationship with you as well as your brother thus it is very hard from the facts present to the court to determine who he intended to have his assets and to what extend. Or maybe your uncle even desired to leave his entire asset to his favorite charity or even his favorite church. In these cases because there exists no will or last testament the entire estate of the uncle is subject to and is sent to probate court. Probate court is a legal proceeding which is presided by a judge who has the responsibility to determine the intention of the owner of the estate and to fairly distribute the assets of the estate.
The problem of the probate court is that you will need to get yourself a probate attorney. The issue with this is that probate attorneys charge very high hourly rates and fees. In addition, after paying all the high fees and hourly rates for the lawyers there is no guarantee that you will receive anything from the estate. The most simple and cost-effective way of avoiding not only the confusion of the probate court and deciphering the intent of the person who has passed way is to have prepared for you a last will and testament. The Will should be prepared by an attorney and the reason for this is the fact that an attorney has the requisite training and experience to provide you with the latest and most accurate Will that presents clearly your intention of distribution of your estate upon your death. The lawyer will utilize the latest in estate planning techniques that not only minimize estate taxes but the lawyer will also ensure that your estate will not be subject to probate court and the extremely high fees and hourly rates. It is generally recommended that individuals that have no legal experience or experience in preparation of wills to prepare one. The risk is that if the will is not prepared correctly then it may be found by the probate court to be null and void and thus not provide you the benefits that you intended receive when you decided to prepare a will in the first place.