The Basics of Estate Planning in Mississippi


If you’ve decided to start putting some work into your estate, designating your wishes for a time when you’ll be unable to speak for yourself, good for you. Estate planning now prevents a variety of headaches and familial difficulties later on.

Why a Will is Worth It

The state of Mississippi has a clear intestacy law that passes on some of your assets to your closest relatives. However, this doesn’t apply to many valuable pieces that need specific designation:

  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Retirement-based funds
  • Payable-on-death bank accounts
  • Several other financial accounts

With a properly written estate, you can designate who will receive these assets, whether that’s a co-owner or beneficiary. Mississippi’s intestacy law also outlines inheritance plans for specific spouse/child situations depending on who your survivors are. There are several different variations, so it’s important to consult a qualified estate attorney to understand how it could affect your situation.

How to Make the Will Official

If you’ve decided to write a will, you’ll be advised to sign it with two witnesses present then have those two witnesses sign it as well. Although you don’t need to notarize your will, you could go that route to make your will “self-proving”, which speeds up the probate process as the court can accept the will without having to contact the signing witnesses.

You can also name an executor who can fulfill the provisions and wishes of your will following your death. If you don’t name one, probate court may appoint someone to do this on your posthumous behalf.

If your total estate value is less than $50,000, your inheritors may be able to skip the probate process with a “simple affidavit” that would allow them access to assets (like a bank account) with a copy of the signed affidavit access for asking alongside a death certificate.

In terms of estate planning, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Estates are a highly personalized process and so much of it depends on the specific value of the estate and the wishes of everyone involved. This is why it’s vital to consult a professional Jackson, MS estate planning team like the attorneys at the Law Offices of Rusty Williard. We’re here to help you navigate the process and ensure your estate truthfully reflects your hard work and posthumous wishes. Call us today at (601) 824-9797 to schedule your free consultation