- Wills are only for wealthy people with a lot of assets.
- I’m young so I don’t need a will.
- Make a will? I don’t want to think about dying!
These are just a few of the common misconceptions that people have about wills. Perhaps you have these same thoughts yourself.
A will is a legal document in which YOU declare what you want done with your property and assets at the time of your death. If you die without a will in place the state will take control and distribute your assets according to the laws of the state. Your personal desires and plans for how you wish to distribute your assets will not factor into the proceedings of the state.
Do you want that to occur? (I thought not!)
Here are five reasons why everyone, especially YOU, need a will:
YOU decide what will happen with your estate.
A will identifies exactly how you would like your estate to be distributed. It ensures that your assets do not wind up in the wrong hands, such as an ex-spouse with whom you had an acrimonious divorce or a sibling with whom you have cut ties. A will can also help to minimize potential family discord and associated legal problems that may not only be costly but extremely divisive.
YOU can create a legacy.
Many people choose to create a legacy by leaving some of their estate to a specific group or cause that they support. This cannot be accomplished unless there is a will in place. An added benefit is that gifts up to $13,000 are excluded from estate taxes so you are, in effect, increasing the value of your gift for the beneficiaries.
YOU decide who will be the executor of your estate.
The executor plays a critical role in the administration of your estate and has full responsibility for canceling credit cards, notifying banks and other institutions, paying off bills, informing business establishments, and ensuring that all your affairs are in order.
YOU help to ensure greater familial harmony.
Family relations can be strained in the best of times, and the death of a family member will often prompt stress and tension even in the most harmonious of families. People can become extremely rancorous and fight bitterly over items of small financial value. A will can help to control the battles over “who gets what.”
YOU can disinherit people that you wish to share in no part of your estate.
Without a will there is always a chance that someone that played no positive part in your life will stand to benefit from your death. You can ensure that this does not occur by making a will.
If you die without a will the state will make the decisions for you. There is always a possibility that the law and their decisions will be very much in accordance with your wishes but there’s an equal chance that they won’t.
It’s simple enough to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Begin the process of creating a will and if you already have one make certain that it is up to date and reflects your current situation.
Of course, please reach out to us if you have any questions or need assistance in making your will.