In a recent poll, more than 60 percent of Americans confessed that they did not have a will in place. One third even said that they would much rather do their taxes than think about drafting a will. While it might be a difficult subject to think about, it is extremely important to have an official will in case of emergency. Wills are used to ensure that when you pass your property is properly distributed and that an executor is named to wrap up your estate. It is also important to name a guardian for children so that you can make sure they are taken care of by someone you trust. You can also name a caretaker for your pets so that they go to a good home. In addition, wills act as a backup to a living trust or other estate plan to guarantee that all property is taken care of.
If you pass away without a will in place the effects can be devastating. Most importantly, without a will the decision of your children’s guardianship is left up to the courts. This means that the law and an unknown judge will be responsible for choosing who will raise your children. This is an extremely important decision that you should carefully decide for yourself. Next, without a will your assets will be divided up based on a predetermined legal formula. This formula decides who gets what and how much they receive. This means that your estate can go to people that you did not necessarily want it to, including an ex-spouse. Without a will, your estate will end up going to probate court where a large amount of money will be taken out. Estate taxes go to the federal and state government and without a will more is taken out due to legal fees. These taxes cannot be completely avoided, but they can be lessened by properly directing your money your will.
Creating a will is a fairly easy process. With the help of an attorney, a basic will can take less than one hour to write and just requires two witnesses to sign. Once the will is written it is important to determine a safe place to store it, such as a safe deposit box at the bank or your lawyer’s office. A will is easy to generate and will greatly aid your friends and family during a difficult time.
If you would like to speak with an estate planning attorney about wills, contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville and primarily serves Mecklenburg County and the Lake Norman area.
In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that established same sex marriage as a right in all states, it is important to address the issue of gay divorce. Same-sex divorce is actually one of the most complex aspects of the gay rights movement yet publicly it is discussed very little. Before the ban was lifted, it was extremely difficult for gay couples to receive a divorce. Since same-sex marriage was not recognized in all states there were conflicting laws regarding its dissolution. For couples that married in one state and then moved to another where their marriage was not valid, they could not get divorced since they were not technically married there. All other states do not grant divorces to couples that are not current residents. The only real possible option was for couples to establish permanent residency in a state that supports gay marriage and file for a divorce there. However, this can be challenging and expensive and not a realistic method for some people. Therefore a lot of same-sex couples living in states with bans were left unable to end their marriages. Some individuals made the choice to enter into a domestic partnership agreement, which is a legal contractual document. This document typically addresses how mutual property should be divided in a partnership. An important aspect of same-sex divorce to consider is the custody of children. If a couple living in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage had a child through a surrogate, then one parent was considered to have no biological connection to the child. In the event of a divorce this legal technicality could keep this partner from receiving custody or visitation rights.
The latest Supreme Court ruling decided that the right to marry was extended to everyone in all areas of the country. With this new ruling gay divorce proceedings will need revising. It will take some time for the courts to update states that previously held a ban on same-sex marriage and divorce.
If you would like to speak with a family law attorney regarding same-sex divorce, contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville, North Carolina and primarily serves Mecklenburg County and the Lake Norman area.