August 23, 2008
One of the most important things to organize is your estate plan. Having an organized estate plan will ensure that financial matters are handled appropriately and expediently. Regardless of family size or income level, an estate plan is something every family should have. An estate plan does not have to be complicated. The four basic documents of an estate plan function quite nicely for most families.
Last Will and Testament
Everyone needs a Will. Your Will directs the disposition of your probate estate. When you pass away, your probate estate consists of any asset that is held in your name alone that does not have a beneficiary designation.
A common misconception is that you do not need a Will if everything you own is held jointly or has a beneficiary designated. While jointly held assets normally do pass to a surviving joint owner, there must be a surviving joint owner for this plan to work. If the joint owner happens to be with you in an automobile accident and you both pass away, there may be a need to probate your estate. If you do not have a Will, your property will pass as directed by the Commonwealth rather than as directed by you.
You may read more at the link below.
by: Gina M. Barry, Esq.