When it comes to your future, there are great reasons to have a will. In this article, we’ll discuss why having a will created for yourself is a good idea and why you should not put it off too long. Typically, when we think of wills, we tend to associate it with dying or death so it can be an uncomfortable task to address. Not many people enjoy thinking about death, but having a will in place can give you peace of mind about the future of your affairs, family and estate.
Here are 5 great reasons why having a will is a great idea and the advantages it gives you as opposed to not having one…
1. You Decide How Your Estate is Handled
When you pass on everything that you own (aka your estate) goes through a legal process called, “probate”. Having a will directs probate courts as to your legally binding wishes and takes a lot of the guesswork out your legal intentions. If you know you want certain people to inherit your assets and not other people, having a will avoids the possibility of people you don’t want gaining from your estate from doing so.
2. Guardianship of Minor Children
If you are the parent of young children do you know who you would and wouldn’t want to become guardians of your children should you pass away? One of the things that many parents often overlook is guardianship. When you are young and relatively healthy one can tend to overlook this kind of preparation. If you have persons in your family that you definitely would prefer over others to become guardians of your children, this should be clearly stated in a will. Without a will, the courts are then free to make that decision for you which may not include the best people for your children.
3. Disinheriting Individuals
If you have ever been divorced or have family members who you don’t want inheriting anything from your estate, this should be stated in your will. Without clearly stating who should and shouldn’t inheritance from you, the courts again through probate, will ultimately make this decision for you. There have been many scenarios where ex’s from past marriages and absentee parents have made claims on people’s estates after they have passed. Lawyers are hired and arguments began in court. If you know for a fact that certain people related to you or once married to you shouldn’t gain from your estate, you need a will in place to honor your intentions.
4. Philanthropy & Donations
Do you have a cause or a foundation that you would like to donate part of your estate to? Do you wish to have a donation made on your behalf after death? If so, this should be stated in your will. Your will being legally binding assures you that your money and estate are properly dispersed the people or organizations you choose. Gifting money or assets up to $13,000 is excluded from taxes so you can use that strategy to help your loved ones keep more of the money you gift them for themselves.
5. Avoid Legal Challenges Against Your Beneficiaries
As we have stated, having a will is a legally binding document. It assures you that your best intentions are carried out exactly the way you wish it to be. When you have a will in place it avoids arguments in probate court as to who should and shouldn’t benefit from your estate. You are doing your beneficiaries an injustice if you just make verbal promises that aren’t legally binding.
No one is promised tomorrow. You may be perfectly healthy today but, things can change quickly even when we least expect it. By not procrastinating and having a will drawn up for yourself, you are protecting your interest as well as the people you love the most. To have a will created, simply contact an estate planning lawyer to get started. They will help you draw up a basic estate plan that covers your most pressing desires. Remember, wills can be changed as many times as you want while you are living so don’t hesitate too long in having one created. There are many great reasons to have a will, but the best reason is peace of mind.
Thank you for reading our article on the importance of making a will. If you are ever in need of information regarding cemetery services, please feel free to call (908) 352-7940 or contact us. We are always more than happy to help.