Everyone needs a will. If you were to pass away without leaving behind any estate planning documents stating your final wishes the probate court would see to it that your assets were distributed according to intestacy laws of succession. This may not be consistent with your true wishes.
The probate process in general can be problematic — especially without a will. The overall process can take weeks if not months to complete, especially if you have a lot of undocumented assets. The process can take even longer if the courts need to locate any potential beneficiaries. Until the process is done, your assets are not distributed — including to those beneficiaries who are eligible to receive something.
If that’s not enough, consider these 10 reasons you should start drafting a will today:
1. You could lose a large portion of your estate to taxes;
2. Your beneficiaries may not receive the asset distributions you intended;
3. Your minor children could be assigned to a guardian you wouldn’t have selected yourself;
4. An ex-spouse could inherit your estate before your children;
5. Loved ones could wait months to receive an inheritance;
6. Loved ones may be required to furnish financial statements and documents they don’t have access to;
7. Not all of your assets are identified;
8. Special needs heirs won’t be provided for properly;
9. Remaining assets without a beneficiary are left up to the court;
10. Your family could spend thousands of dollars and weeks arguing over assets and their distributions.
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- Income Tax Basis in Estate Planning – Part 2 - April 23, 2018
- The Downsizing Generation: How to Handle a Surplus of Stuff When a Loved One Ages - April 18, 2018