Wills and Estate Planning: McLane Middleton

Mclane Middleton Christina Krakoff

— Christina L. Krakoff, Attorney
Trusts and Estates Department, McLane Middleton

What happens to your estate if you’re married, have a minor child, and you die without a will?

Under New Hampshire law, persons who die without a will are subject to the intestacy statute. Under the intestacy statute, if a person dies married with children living, the spouse will receive the first $250,000 of the estate plus one half of the balance. The remaining half of the balance goes to your minor child. If the amount passing to a minor child is less than $10,000, the court will require opening a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act account with a custodian to hold the funds. If the inheritance is greater than $10,000, then the court will appoint a Guardian over the estate of the minor.

What is a will executor, and what are his/her responsibilities?

The executor of your will is responsible for complying with the court’s probate rules including properly notifying the beneficiaries and any creditors. The executor is also responsible for collecting and organizing the decedent’s assets. This may include closing bank accounts, liquidating tangibles, claiming life insurance proceeds, and working with financial advisors to transfer other investments. Once the assets are collected, the executor is responsible for paying any last debts, filing final tax returns, and paying any taxes. Finally, the executor is responsible for correctly distributing your estate in accordance with the wishes set forth in the will.

Categories: Ask the Experts: Wills and Estate Planning