Q: If I don't specifically bequest property in my will, does it all go to the executors?
A: It depends on the language of your will. Have a professional draft you one rather than trying to do it yourself. A trust may fit your needs rather than a will. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.
A: Executors (now known as Personal Representatives in Massachusetts) are the people you nominate to locate your assets, pay debts, and distribute your property to your beneficiaries. If you fail to designate a beneficiary under your will the property does not go to the executors: it's called partial intestacy. Partial intestacy occurs when your will does not completely dispose of your property and property passes under the intestatcy statute to your heirs at law.
There's all sorts of strategies to avoid this. One such method would be to limit specific bequests to just certain items with significant monetary or sentimental value, and then divide everything else into percentages among the people you want to see benefit from your estate. You should review your situation with an attorney who can draft a will and estate plan that carries out your wishes in a manner that is easy to administer.
A: An attorney should draft your Will and depending upon how complex your estate is, should not be too expensive. First of all, in MA we no longer use the term Executor, we use the term Personal Representative. Your estate only goes to your named beneficiaries, unless designated in percentages, the amount is split between the named beneficiaries equally. While a Personal Representative can be a beneficiary, the estate only goes to the named beneficiaries and if there are no beneficiaries or relatives to claim against the estate the money goes to the State.
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