You do not need a complicated will in order for it to be effective, but it is also important to understand what happens if you die without one. For the vast majority of people it is advisable to have some form of a will, even if the will is simple.
Dying without a will is dying “intestate.” This can lead to complicated legal battles after your death. According to FindLaw, if you die without any sort of will in place, the law will default to the 1990 Uniform Probate Code.
What is the Code?
The idea behind the 1990 Uniform Probate Code is that it follows the most logical means of disseminating your estate. That is, the first person in line after your death to inherit your estate would be your spouse, assuming that there is a surviving spouse. If there is no spouse to inherit, any children would then be next in line. If there are no children, then any surviving parent would inherit.
What are the negatives if this is how I would want my estate disseminated?
While it is true that the Code does follow a very linear path of inheritance, it will not take into concern anything like need. If you have multiple children, for instance, battles in probate court can potentially be very intense.
If you have any preferences whatsoever for your estate or believe that your surviving descendants would get into litigation over your estate at all, having a will is best. For many people a simple will is all that is necessary to avoid a lot of heartache.
What is intestacy?