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Most everyone should have a will. It is the only way a person is relatively sure all of his assets and earthly possessions are distributed in accordance with his wishes.
One of the more important aspects of drawing up a will is the appointment of an executor. If this person is not the surviving spouse, he or she should be someone who you have the utmost confidence in and a person who will use good sound judgement in his decision making.
As times change and happenings take place in one’s life, a will should periodically be reviewed to determine if your original desires still exist.
In many states if a husband or wife does not leave a will, the survivor receives one third of the estate and the children are entitled to two thirds.
If there is a will, the deceased is said to have died testate. The executor named in the will must file the will with the Probate or Surrogate court within the time prescribed by statute, and proceed with the distribution of the assets of the estate according to the provisions the deceased has prescribed.
If there is no will but there are assets, the deceased is said to have died intestate. This involves the appointment of an administrator by the Surrogate judge and the assets of the estate are distributed according to the State Statute of Descent.
In both situations it is recommended that the services of a competent attorney be used, as well as when an original will is drafted.