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I am making a will. Intestate means "as if not having made a legally valid will". Is the following correct?

Alexandria, LA |

If she predeceases me, I give and bequeath to my beloved children all of the property which I die possessed of as if I died intestate. Does that mean that I have no say as to how I wish my estate to be divided? I want each to have equal shares. Does that mean when my wife dies the all of my estate is then divided?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

This is an example of why you should not be writing your own will. You do not want to use the wording above. Have an attorney in your area who is knowledgable about wills draft your documents.

The above answer is not to be considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should consult your attorney for specific legal advice as to your individual situation.

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Posted

You are correct, the word "intestate" refers to someone who dies without a Last Will. In that event then the assets of that persons' estate are distributed under the statutes in the jurisdiction that the person resided at the time of death.

As to doing your own Will, I would suggest that you only draft documents that you "know" how to do. If you "dabble" in Wills, Powers of Attorney or Trusts, then you really need to know what you are doing. Why? Because the only time the documents will likely be used is in the event of your disability or death and, if the documents turn out to be drafted poorly then whomever is helping you may have significant problems. And, of course, being disabled or deceased, you will likely not be able to sign any new documents.

Unless you really "don't have any assets" it is wise to you someone who knows what they are doing.

Best wishes!

Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

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Posted

Attorneys Blaustein and Smolinski are correct. A person who dies "intestate" is a person who dies without a valid will. The will you are making yourself may not be valid, so you may also die intestate. Please retain an attorney to properly prepare a will, as well as other estate planning documents for you and your wife. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.

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Posted

As the attorneys above mentioned, the wording you have chosen for your will is not correct and should not be used. You don't want your will to say that your estate should be divided as if there is no will - otherwise, what is the point of having a will.

You should contact an estate planning attorney to help you with this. When you put together a valid will, your estate will be disposed of per your wishes. Your estate will only be divided of as if you died intestate if you die without a will, or if your will is deemed invalid.

The answer provided above is not intended as legal advice; it is provided for informational purposes only. Please contact an attorney for legal advice.

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Posted

The advice from the out-of-state attorneys is correct. But Louisiana also has different laws that may impact how your assets are distributed upon your death. After you have a general idea of what you wish to do with your assets, you need to sit down with an estate planning attorney to make sure your estate plan correctly reflects your wishes and covers all contingencies.

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Posted

You need to meet with an LA attorney so that you have complete understanding of the estate plan and to get your goals completed successfully.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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