A will is an essential part of any estate plan. It is a vital legal document that designates the distribution of your assets, after death, to specific people. You can decide who inherits your assets and particular times when they can access them. It is advised to hire a reliable attorney who can guide you through the process of creating a will. Contrary to popular belief, creating a will is necessary not just for the wealthy but is recommended for anyone who wants to secure their property, ensure a future for their kids, and avoid familial conflict after death.
Even if you may have a small savings account and an old car, a properly executed will allows you to choose the individuals who will receive your property after your death. A will include your designation of an executor – who will carry out the provisions of the will, the beneficiaries- who are inheriting the assets, and instructions for the distribution of the assets. Additionally, a will appoints the guardians of your minor children so that they are protected in the event the worst comes to fruition.
What Happens If I Die Without A Will?
However, if a will is not executed before you die, several complicated procedures would have to take place when distributing your property and assets. If you die without a will, it means you have died “intestate.” Regardless of if you are wealthy or not, this means that the laws of the state where you reside will determine how the property and assets will be distributed. State laws may divide your property between your spouse and children, or if you were never married and had no kids, the property may be left to the state. If minor children are left without parents and there is no will delegating a guardian, a judge will decide who will get to choose who will care for them. Therefore, it is in your favor and thusly, in your children’s favor to appoint someone instead of the government deciding without your say.
Choose An Executor That You Trust
When creating a will, it is essential to pick an executor who you trust to make decisions that serve your best interest. Some decisions may include liquidating financial accounts, ensuring your assets go to the proper beneficiaries, and paying any debts not discharged.
Keep Your Estate Plan Up-to-date
Additionally, since beneficiaries will receive your money, property, and other assets it is important to designate someone who is close to you and whom you trust. After creating a will, it is important to update it in case of any significant life event. In case you get married or have kids, you may want to keep who you designated the executor and beneficiaries as.
Overall, whether you have over $6 million worth of property or a small checking account, it is recommended to set up a will. Since estate planning can be a confusing process, it is essential to speak with an attorney to fully comprehend what a will entails and what steps you should take to secure your estates and assets after you pass away successfully.