Wills and Estate Planning: Chisholm, Persson & Ball
Who should have a will, and why?
If you don’t have a last will and testament, the state of New Hampshire has a statute that specifies the persons who will receive your assets upon your death. The statute may not reflect your intent of how your assets should be distributed. This is particularly true for couples who live together but are not married, couples with minor children, and individuals with no spouse or children.
In executing a last will and testament, you are telling the probate court who you want to be in charge of handling your estate and to whom your assets should be distributed upon your death. Your will is also where you nominate guardians for any minor children and disinherit any children that you do not wish to get anything from your estate.
Couples who live together have no statutory right to inherit from each other. Proving common law marriage is very difficult for inheritance purposes. A last will and testament can make clear provisions for your partner.
In general, having a last will and testament provides peace of mind, a clear expression of your intentions, and guidance to those who will be managing your affairs after your death.