Why Hire A Genealogist? (Part 10)

Help support a relationship for an inheritance.

According to a 2016 Gallup Poll found that more than half (55%) of people in the United States do not have a will.  Having a will ensures your estate (possessions, money, etc…) are transferred to people who survive you after you die.  The best way to ensure your estate is divided according to your wishes is to have a will.  Dying without a will can have some serious consequences where a genealogist can help.

If someone dies without a will usually their estate is divided between any direct ancestors or descendants.  Determining who is a rightful heir and their inheritance percentage depends on the state where the person died.  It can get more complicated if the deceased does not have any direct living ancestors or descendants.  Half and step children, including their descendants may also have a claim to an inheritance. 

A genealogist can help by finding the evidence to support a relationship to the diseased individual.  This can become very complicated from state to state and the evidence required.  Distant individuals of a descendant without a will, who are the only surviving heirs often do not have the legal evidence require to support their inheritance claim.  It’s also wise to study your genealogy in the unlikely event this scenario may happen.  An estate lawyer with the help of a genealogist, can help ensure you receive your rightful inheritance if a will doesn’t exist.

After reading this you might be concerned if you don’t have a will.  If you get anything from this week’s blog, it should be to write a will if you don’t have one.  If you already have a will, it might be time to review your current will to ensure its still is in accordance with your wishes.  Always consult an estate lawyer when writing a will or making changes to an existing one.