Are Wills Really Necessary for Estate Planning Purposes?
There are many exciting rites of passage as you age. Getting your first car is exciting, as is your first job that offers a 401(k) and vacation pay. Growing up and becoming responsible comes with many different firsts.
One that you may not be too excited to do is create a will. Since it deals with what happens after you die, it may not be something that you anticipate doing. However, creating a will and keeping it up to date is one of the most vital acts you can do for those you love. Find out why a will is important and when you should deal with it.
What Does a Will Do?
A will is a legal document that dictates your final wishes concerning who gets your property after you die. Property in the sense of a will deals with:
- Real estate
- Personal items
When you sit down to draft a will, you want to think carefully about who you want to be in charge of your estate. This administrator must inform the court of your death and file the will. Probate is a court process that makes sure your debts are paid and your estate is distributed as you set out in your will.
When Should You Draft a Will?
The timing of your first will varies depending on who you ask. As a rule of thumb, you should draft a will whenever you obtain property or have children. This means that your first vehicle purchase may be an inducement to write a will since you have something that can be distributed. In addition, the birth of a child makes you a parent, and therefore responsible for choosing who will care for that child if you die. A will makes this process easier on the children and your other heirs.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
For those people who put off writing a will, the results of sudden death may be felt by the family for quite a while. A person who dies without a will is considered to be intestate. The court opens a full inquiry into the estate and must choose who will inherit based on bloodlines and proof. Minor children may need to be displaced more than once before a final guardianship decision is made. Thus, creating a will sooner rather than later is beneficial.
An estate planning lawyer, or more specifically a wills lawyer is an ally that you may not realize you need. When it comes to caring for your family and having your wishes fulfilled after your death, few can compete with the guidance an attorney from a firm like Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can provide.