Having a will is one of the most important things you can do for your family. It’s your opportunity to legally protect your family and your assets.
Without a will, the court decides how to distribute your assets after your death. Your will is your last chance to make sure your wishes are followed.
Do you know what’s going to happen to your estate if something should happen to you? Here are 10 reasons why you should create a will.
Prevent Family Disputes
It is common for siblings and family members to fight over assets after the death of a parent or loved one. In fact, it tears many families apart.
The death of a family member is a stressful time. Having to haggle over furniture, insurance policies, and more only creates more stress and emotional turmoil for your family.
It causes family members to guess what your wishes were or to disregard your wishes altogether because they aren’t in print.
Having a clear will in place can prevent family disputes over who gets what. Your will should clearly outline how you want to distribute your estate.
This can offer you peace of mind now and make things easier for your loved ones when you pass away.
Provide for a Partner or Friend
You should have a will in place if you want to leave your assets to a partner you’re not married to or to anyone who isn’t family. A will is the only way to ensure your assets go to the ones you choose.
Without a will, your life partner may not receive what you wish for them, and other family members may step in to claim your assets.
You can prevent this by having a will that clearly states who you wish to inherit your estate. This will deter anyone who wants to stake a claim after your death.
You will need a lawyer to help you with the process.
Choose Your Executor
A will allows you to have an executor to oversee the distribution of your estate. This should be someone you trust to manage your estate after you pass away.
You want to choose someone who is rational, organized and has your best interests at heart.
This can offer you peace of mind knowing you have chosen someone to manage your affairs according to your wishes. This is important because the last thing you want is an executor who will mismanage your assets.
Appoint a Guardian for Your Child
If you have children, appointing a guardian is the most important part of your will. This is especially true if you are a single parent and there isn’t another parent the child could live with.
You want to choose someone you trust and who shares similar values as you. You want to make sure you discuss the decision and that the guardian is comfortable and certain with the decision.
Planning for a guardian prevents an undesirable relative from raising your child if you die. You can make arrangements in your will to provide for your children and their education as well.
Plan for your Funeral
A will allows you to share your wishes for your funeral with your family. You can pre-arrange everything for your funeral to make things easier for your children or family members.
Your will can outline how to handle your remains or if you wish to donate your body or organs to science. For many, planning ahead offers peace of mind knowing your children or family won’t have to make these decisions at a difficult time.
Disinherit Family Members
When you have a will, you can disinherit family members who might otherwise receive your assets. In your will, you can designate which persons or charities you want as beneficiaries.
People sometimes disinherit children or choose to favor one child over another in their wills for various reasons. Your estate is your life’s work, and you have the right to divide it as you wish.
Avoid a Long Probate Process
All estates go through a probate process. Having a will in place speeds up the process.
You have already decided how to divide your estate, so the court does not have to.
If you die without a will, the court decides how to divide your assets. This process can be lengthy and cause fighting among family members.
Give Gifts or Donations
A will allows you to designate gifts or donations to charities or institutions of your choice. This allows your legacy to continue and reflects your character and values.
A portion of your gifts is excluded from the estate tax. This leaves more of your assets for your beneficiaries.
When your Circumstances Change
Life continually changes, so it’s important to update your will as your circumstances change. New jobs, more money, babies, divorce, and more may lead you to change your will.
You can change your will at any time and feel good knowing you have things in order in case you pass away.
Create a Will Because Tomorrow Is Uncertain
Many people know they should have a will but procrastinate and put it off because they don’t want to think about it. But no one knows what tomorrow holds, and you need to have a will to protect your loved ones.
Unexpected deaths and disability happen, and it is always better to be prepared for that possibility.
Things to Consider
If you are ready to create a will, you need to understand your assets and your net worth. You must think about your loved ones and who gets what.
You want to consider who would be a good executor of your estate. If you have children, you want to have a guardian in mind.
Everyone’s circumstances are different, so your will should reflect what’s best for you and your family’s needs. If you are ready to get started, you will need a lawyer.
We can help you with that. Be sure to check out our website and contact us with any questions.