Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.
While each person’s situation varies, here are the top reasons to have a will.
1. You decide how your estate will be distributed. A will is a legally-binding document that lets you determine how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your intended desires will be carried out.
2. You decide who will take care of your minor children. A will allows you to make an informed decision about who should take care of your minor children. Absent a will, the court will take it upon itself to choose amount family members or a state-appointed guardian.
3. To avoid a lengthy probate process. Contrary to common belief, estates may have to go through the probate process, with or without a will. Having a will, however, speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you would like your estate divided.
4. You don’t want the State to step in. If you’d rather leave your property or assets to someone outside of your immediate family or a non-blood relative, a will protects them. If you have no will it’s up to the State law to decide.
5. You decide who will wind up the affairs of your estate. Executors make sure all your affairs are in order, including paying off bills, canceling your credit cards, and notifying the bank and other business establishments. Because executors play the biggest role in the administration of your estate, you will want to be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy, and organized.
6. You can disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit. Most people do not realize they can disinherit individuals out of their will. You may wish to disinherit individuals who may otherwise inherit your estate if you die without a will.
7. Make gifts and donations. The ability to make gifts is a good reason to have a will because it allows your legacy to live on and reflect your personal values and interests.
8. Avoid greater legal challenges. If you die without a will, part or all of your estate may pass to someone you did not intend.
9. Because you can change your mind if your life circumstances change. A good reason for having a will is that you can change it at any time while you are still alive. Life changes, such as births, deaths, and divorce, can create situations where changing your will is necessary.
If you are ready to create your will, contact us today. We’ll be happy to guide you through the process.