The financial planner thought he knew everything. And with that confidence, he downloaded a form will. It wasn’t a bad will, actually. But he made one enormous mistake: he didn’t sign it right.
So when he died, his wife went to an attorney to find out how she would collect everything. She got a shock: she wasn’t going to. The will was useless. Void. Non-existent. Consequently, the law says that she and the child had to split the assets. The scorecard: Child: 50%. Mother 50%. Game, set, match.
Would it matter if it was his child, and not their child? Not a whit. Could they fudge the distribution? Nope.
What if parent and child didn’t get along? Doesn’t matter. They were chained legally to 50% each. They may not have spoken in years . . . but now they sure were going to.
The key: if the once-good will is not good now, or if there’s no will, then the spouse and the children divide the estate assets equally. Read more