How would making a Will benefit us ?

We’ve been married 34 years and own our home. There are no children from our marriage, although my husband has daughter from first marriage. I’m 62 and he’s 76 I’m 62. Do we need a Will?

Asked on November 22, 2018 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you, with no children, pass away without a will, your husband will get everything. If he, however, passes away first, since he has a child, you and his daughter split any real estate equally (which means you and she could end up as 50-50 owners of real estate); you get the firrst $60,000 of non-real estate assets (money, personal property, vehicles, jewelry, stocks or bonds, etc.) and 1/2 everyting over $60,000, while the daughter gets the other 1/2 of everything over $60,000.
(This is an oversimplification, since certain jointly owned assets, like a home owned by the two of you as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or JTROS, will go to the survivor entirely and automatically.)
If the above matches what you and he want done with your respective "estates" after death, there is no need for a will. If you want something different done--such as if he wants all his property to go to you--then you need wills to do it.


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