1) You get to decide how Your estate will be distributed. A will is a legally binding document that lets You determine how You would have Your estate be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is NO guarantee that your intended desires will be carried out. Having Your will in place helps minimize any family fights about your estate that may arise, and also determines: The “Who, What, and When” of your estate.
3) To avoid a lengthy probate process. Contrary to common belief, all estates must 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. Probate courts serve the purpose of “administering your estate”, and when you die without a will (known as dying “intestate”), the court will decide how to divide estate Without your input, which can also cause long, unnecessary delays.
5) You get to decide who will wind up the affairs of Your estate. Executors make sure all of 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'll want to make sure to appoint someone who is Honest, Trustworthy, and, which (may or may not always be a family member).
6) You can disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit. Most people do not realize they can Disinherit individuals out of their will. Yes, you may wish to disinherit individuals who may otherwise inherit your estate if you die without a will. Because wills specifically outline how you would like your estate distributed, absent a will, Your estate may end up on the “wrong hands” or in the hands of someone you did not intend, (such as an ex-spouse with whom you had a bitter divorce).
8) Avoid greater legal challenges. When you die without a will, Part or All of your estate may pass to someone you did not intend. For example, one case involved the estate of a deceased son who was awarded over $1 million from a wrongful death lawsuit. When the son died, the son's father - who had Not been a part of his son’s life for Over 32 years – stood to inherit the entire estate, leaving close relatives and siblings out of the picture!
9) Because you can “change your mind” as your life circumstances change. A good reason not to be without a will is that you can change it at “Anytime” while you are still alive. Life changes, such as births, deaths, and divorce, can create situations where changes to your will are necessary.
Talking to an attorney about the reasons you should not be without a will is vital. There are more than 10 reasons to not be without a will than just listed here. It will be overwhelming to draft a will yourself. A D.I.Y. kit is NOT the same. Knowing your states laws is key. An estate planning attorney will help you craft your wishes into your legal document. For the next steps click here for the fast, safe and easily the most affordable way to get a will drafted by a law firm.
Le Mazur is a Business Development Advisor and licensed life/health agent. She absorbs ALL aspects of marketing, is hostess of Business Basics Podcast and will ask you about legal protection.