The Best Reasons to Create a Will
It’s hard to think about what life will be like for your loved ones after you pass away. Who will take care of family and your affairs? How will you be remembered by the organizations and causes you supported during your lifetime?
One way to guarantee a smoother transition is with a will. Passing away without one can create havoc and dissension among even the tightest-knit families. When you don’t specify your wishes for your loved ones, they’re left to speculate about what you might have wanted to happen.
Creating a will doesn’t have to be complicated. Putting your wishes in writing ensures that the people and causes you care about are taken care of after you’re gone. If you haven’t created one, here’s how it can protect the future of those you care about most:
Your spouse: Without a will, the laws of the state where you live decide how much of your estate your spouse will receive. Some states have laws that allow for your entire estate to pass to your surviving spouse. Other states will give your surviving spouse one-third of your estate, with your children sharing the rest. If you don’t have children, some states allow your spouse’s parents, siblings and other relatives to receive a cut.
Your partner: If you wish to leave assets to someone you’re not married to, a will is especially important. If you die without a will, most states have laws that are indifferent to the surviving partner. For example, your live-in partner of 20 years could receive nothing and be forced to move out of your shared home.
Your children: If you have minor children but don’t have a will, a court may end up deciding who will become their guardian should something happen to you. Wouldn’t you rather make this important decision? Another consideration: Without a will in place, your minor children will likely receive their share of your estate when they turn 18, regardless of their money-management skills. By creating a simple trust when you write your will, you can control when your children receive their inheritance—and how much.
Your favorite charities: We all have charitable causes, including Hospice of the Valleys, that are important to us and whose futures we feel we have a stake in. When you create a will, you can include a provision that supports our future and other charitable organizations that are important to you. If you die without a will, no state has laws that allow for charitable contributions from your estate.
Already Have a Will?
If you have already created a will, make sure it’s up-to-date. Life changes such as births, deaths or marriages; increased estate values; or a move to another state should trigger you to meet with your estate planning attorney to review your will.
If you haven’t yet created your will, don’t put off the task any longer. We can help you start the process today with our FREE Personal Estate Planning Kit. Download your kit now or contact Gina O’Bryant at email@example.com or (951) 200-7800 today.