Having a will is important, especially if you want to ensure that those you love are taken care of after you are gone. If you do not have a will when you die, the court system in Florida will determine how to divide your estate and who gets your assets. The way they divide up your estate may vary, but typically all of your assets will go to your surviving spouse and children. This is the case unless you have no spouse or children, in which case the courts will pick among your closest relatives to inherit your estate.
It is important to note that in some states the courts do not recognize a common-law marriage, and therefore when one of the partners dies without a will, the other may not have a claim to his or her estate. This seems to be the case for country star Mindy McCready. Her boyfriend and father of her nine-month-old son fatally shot himself recently in the home where they lived together. Since the man did not have a last will and testament, his assets will likely all go to his infant son when he comes of age.
What makes this case even more perplexing is the fact that the man was set to inherit $430,000 from his mother’s estate. He would have received three installments of $143,000 over the course of 20 years. The first installment was due to be delivered just weeks after his death.
Since McCready will likely have no access to this money, she will not be able to use it to help with the expenses associating with raising their child. Had the man consulted with an attorney and set up a will, he may have been able to specify exactly where he wanted his inheritance to go and what it could be used for.
Source: Daily Mail, “Mindy McCready’s boyfriend was set to inherit $150,000 just weeks after he was found shot dead at their home,” Daniel Bates, Jan. 30, 2013