Did you know that more than half of Americans have no will? Lower-income and younger individuals also typically do not have wills.
Unfortunately, no one knows when they could die, so avoiding the issue leaves their families and loved ones vulnerable and unprepared. These are reasons you should create a will right now.
State law rules without a will
Every state has specific laws for asset and debt distribution when the deceased has no will or estate plan. During the probate process, the courts need to follow these laws in the absence of a will. In many cases, everything passes on to your spouse, but what happens if you have children who are from a previous spouse? They could lose their inheritance completely.
Your minor children have no named guardian
If you have children, you need to name a guardian in case something happens to you. You likely do not want the courts to decide who your children will live with until they become adults. Instead, you should name someone you trust who has similar values and the ability and willingness to raise your children.
You have no named personal representative
Through the probate process, your estate needs a personal representative. If you do not have a will, the court appoints a personal representative, which can be costly and time-consuming because this individual does not know your desires. This could cause arguments and contention amongst your family and loved ones.
When you draw up a will, you name your personal representative. Choose a person you know well who also understands your desires. This individual should also understand the responsibilities of this position, including closing bank accounts, paying bills and asset distribution.
These are only three reasons you should have a will. You can gain peace of mind by creating an estate plan, which starts with a will.