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Q: If my parents don’t currently have a will, what challenges should my siblings and I plan to face in the event of their death?

First, I would advise your parents to see an attorney to draft their wills. Not having a will presents great challenges not found in estates with a will. The greatest issue being that upon death there is no declaration from the deceased regarding who will inherit the assets.

Instead, the assets of a deceased Mississippian who dies intestate (no will or a poorly drafted will that does not address all the assets) will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy to his or her relatives and adopted children (not step-children). This line of succession begins with the spouse and children, then parents, siblings of the deceased, and those descendants of siblings, then grandparents, uncles and aunts.

If there is no will and there are assets the Court is petitioned to determine who will be in charge and in control of your estate; and how the assets will be distributed. According to some estimates over 55% of Americans do not have a will.

While no one likes to contemplate death, a will is extremely important and must not be dismissed.

As seen in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal’s “Ask a Professional.” 

Ask Amy

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