30 Nov Why You Need a Last Will & Testament
Why You Need a Last Will & Testament
Seven out of ten Americans do not have a will. Some may think they do not have sufficient assets to warrant a will and others may not want to think about the fact that they are going to die one day. Even others may think they are too young to make out a will. Whatever excuse you may have for not having a will does not change the reasons why you need a will.
You need a will to keep a judge from deciding who will have guardianship of your minor children. You have the power, through your will, to decide who you think will provide for and give your children the best care. Without a will, a judge may appoint someone you would have considered totally unsuitable.
You need a will so that your assets will be distributed to family, friends, and charities as you would have wanted them to be divided. Personal items will be given out as you would have wished and charities that you supported in life can continue to be supported after you are gone. Having a will can give you power over how your estate will be divided and will keep the government from getting your assets, if there are no relatives.
A will can give you peace of mind by knowing your spouse will have sufficient support after your death. Leaving a will can ensure your spouse will have enough support to get by without undue hardship and will prevent leaving children with assets that they may not be mature enough to control. Without a will, assets will be divided, according to state laws, between a widow(er) and the children.
Some states do not recognize domestic partnerships. Having a will can provide for your same-sex or live-in partner. It can ensure that they receive assets you wanted them to have that were not already jointly owned. You can keep asset distribution out of the state’s hands and ensure your partner will have enough money and assets after you are gone.
If you have assets worth over $1 million, a well-planned will can make provisions in it to reduce the value of the estate so that there are less tax consequences. Estate taxes can take a big chunk of money from your estate, if it is valued at over $1 million. Estate planning will stop the government from taking tax money you would not have wanted it to have.
A will can guarantee that your beloved pets will be taken care of for the remainder of their lives. You can appoint an agent in your will to ensure that your pet is fed well and has sufficient exercise and veterinary care. A trust set up in your will is the best way to make certain your pet is cared for after you are gone.
Having a will can prevent disputes among your heirs. There may not be a greed factor among your heirs but, in many families, greed has proven to be a problem. It is recommended that you have a lawyer prepare your will to make sure you do not forget anyone or anything that you want to include in it. This will save time, money, and effort for the person or persons you have appointed in your will to distribute your estate.