You may not think you have enough assets for estate planning to matter. Perhaps all you have is your primary home. You may be a widow, with a few adult children who enjoy visiting you often with your grandchildren in tow. They all get along well with each other. They should be able to sort things out after you pass away, right?
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you do not have an estate plan in place at the time of your death, your children may have trouble sorting out your estate. Let us discuss three reasons why you need at least a last will and testament in order to ensure your estate is passed on to your heirs as you would see fit.
1. Without a Will, You Die Intestate. If there is no will, you are considered to have passed away intestate. Your assets will be divided according to the intestate laws of the state, and signed off on by the judge. State intestate laws often distribute assets according to the level of familial relationship of any person surviving the person who passed away. This may not be how you wish for your assets to be distributed.
2. Your Children May Not Agree. No matter how well your kids get along, they may not be able to agree on how to divide your estate. Each child may mean well and think he or she knows what you wanted, but his or her interpretation of what you wanted may differ from the rest of the family. A will is a way to ensure they all know what you wanted, and everyone is on the same page.
3. It is Not Just About Money. Leaving a will can be a way to minimize any family squabbles that may arise during an emotional period for your children and grandchildren. A last will and testament can be a way to help your loved ones, so they can focus on supporting each other and on their memories of you.
If you need assistance establishing a strong estate plan, we are here to help. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment time.