When you're married and decide that writing your will would be an important financial step to take, you might decide to keep things simple and leave your entire inheritance to your spouse. Many people take this approach, but making this decision doesn't necessarily mean that it's time to tuck your will away and forget about it. You need to consider the possibility of dying at the same time as your spouse. No one wants to think about this, but there's a chance that you could be killed in an airplane crash, a vehicle accident, or some other type of calamity. If you've left your estate to your spouse, this leaves a difficult situation. Here are some things that you should discuss with your probate attorney.
You should always list one or more additional beneficiaries when you write your will. For people with children, they're likely an obvious choice. However, if you don't have children, you'll need to think of another option. Many people opt to distribute their estate equally between a number of nieces and nephews, for example. The attorney who is helping you write your will can make it clear in the wording that your estate is to go to your spouse, but if he or she passes at the same time as you, the estate will go to your other beneficiaries.
A Backup Executor
If you're thinking of leaving your entire estate to your spouse, you're probably leaning toward him or her serving as your executor, too. Many couples choose their spouses to be executor, but this is another example of a time that you'll need to account for possibly passing away together. You don't want to risk not having an executor for your estate, so appointing someone else who can serve in this capacity in the unlikely event that you and your spouse die at the same time is important.
Help From Your Attorney
While your probate attorney who is helping you with your estate affairs will be helpful in ensuring that you have backups in place, he or she will also be an asset in the event of your passing — especially if you and your spouse die at the same time. It's a good idea to leave a copy of your will with the attorney and provide the attorney's name and contact information to any family members that you have. Upon being notified of your death, the attorney can give the will to the backup executor to begin going through the process of dividing assets.
For more information, contact a professional like David R Webb Attorney today.