According to a survey done in 2019, 57% of American adults said they don’t have any estate planning documents. Most people think that they don’t have enough assets to consider estate planning like will or living trust. The majority of people believe that making a will or estate planning will subject the heirs or surviving members to complex probate. But you might be surprised to know that estate planning can actually give you peace of mind. Elder care attorney suggest that everyone should consider having a valid will prepared, no matter how much their worth is.
A Will simplifies the distribution process of estate and asset
A will is a legal document that states or declared a person’s wishes regarding how his/her assets and estate should be managed and distributed at the time of their passing. The person who creates the will is called a testator. The will only come into effect after the testator has died. The testator is free to revoke a will at any point of time in their life. With a will, you can dictate how your estates and property will pass on the heirs and beneficiaries without the state’s involvement.
In the absence of a valid will, the task of administrating and distributing the assets and property to rightful heirs is passed on to the state. There are several intestate succession laws that guide how the process of asset distribution should take place in the absence of a will.
Wills prevents probate
One of the biggest misconceptions related to a will is that having a will can subject the heir to a tedious probate process. In reality, a valid will can save one from going through the process of probate. Even if you die without a will or estate planning, the probate court will intervene to oversee your assets’ administration and distribution. Going through probate without a will can make the process more expensive and tedious. You may also require help from wills and estate attorney with the probate proceedings.
On the other hand, through a will, you can choose who should look after your assets and estate and how it should be distributed amongst your family and friends. The probate court will only oversee if the assets and estate are getting distributed according to the will or not.
Easier to choose a guardian for minor children
If you have children, you should definitely consider preparing a will. In your will, you can mention what assets your children are entitled to and who should look after them in the event of your death or incapacitation. If you are to die without a will, the probate court will step in and take guardianship decisions for your children. The judge will decide who will manage your money once you pass away. The state has the authority to determine who will handle your minor children’s share until they turn 18.
With a will, you can make such decisions. You can also name a guardian for your children who will take care of them and their inheritance until they turn adults.