Create a Will instead of a Role for "Probate Genealogists"
Category: Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration
I just came across this press releaseGrowing Role for Probate Genealogists and thought to myself, "What is a probate genealogist?" not having heard the term before. Looking into it more, it seems that "probate genealogist" encompasses "heir-search" companies that identify to heirs to an estate through their biological relationships.
In my practice, finding heirs has been an issue on several occasions - all of which had one thing in common - the person who died had assets and no Will. These people died intestate (without a Will), and the assets were distributed to relatives per the New Jersey intestacy statutes (otherwise known as "the Will the State of New Jersey created for you that you didn't know about").
I am surmising that needing to use a "probate genealogist" is an expensive process. It also implies that you have no idea who will be receiving an inheritance from you, because if they were known to you, they would probably know you were dead and could claim their rights without being "located" by a third party.
Taking the time to make a Will seems like such a simpler and more logical alternative. Some things to consider in this example:
- If you don't make a Will, the State where you reside has one for you via its Intestacy Statues
- The Intestacy Statutes may give you assets to people you either don't know (remote relatives) or don't like (close relatives)
- You are not required to give your money to your relatives - you can leave it to a friend, church, charity, organization, or even your pet in many states.
- You worked hard to create your assets - shouldn't you make the effort to direct where they go if you aren't here? I have never come a across a person who truly "didn't care" where there assets went after being asked a few questions.