Death can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but it is a fact of life. We never know when our time will be up, and anyone—young or old, healthy or sick, married or single—can be hit by the proverbial bus at any time. Writing a will enables you to put your affairs in order and leave clear instructions for the loved ones that you leave behind. A little bit of planning can go a very long way in providing peace of mind for you and a much less stressful experience for your family once you are gone. Take a look at the following benefits to creating a will:
You can choose how your assets will be distributed after your death.
One of the greatest advantages to having a will is that it lets you designate who will receive which assets from your estate. Without a will, your estate becomes subject to the intestacy laws of the state in which you lived. This means that the people you would like to benefit from your estate may receive nothing, while the people you did not expect or want to receive your property may receive the bulk of your assets.
You choose the executor of your estate.
The executor is appointed in your will and is in charge of managing the administration of your estate after your death. The responsibilities of the executor include distributing assets per your instructions, paying your debts and taxes, and closing your estate. Without a will, a court appoints the executor of your estate, and you will have had no say in who handles your affairs after you die.
You can appoint a guardian for your minor children.
A will allows you to choose a guardian for your minor children and set aside funds to ensure their continued comfort and support. Knowing that the children will be cared for by someone of your choosing who is reliable and trustworthy can provide parents with a great deal of comfort.
You can dictate personal preferences.
A will allows you to specify how to handle personal matters such as funeral and burial wishes and pet care arrangements so that your loved ones know exactly what you would like them to do.
You can amend or revoke your will.
As time goes on, your circumstances can change, and so can your will. You can amend any provision of your will through a “codicil.” Alternatively, you can revoke your entire will at any time and have a new will drafted in accordance with your current wishes and assets.
In sum, having a will in place can accomplish many goals and can prevent additional complications in the administration of your estate, thereby providing peace of mind for you and reducing worry and stress for those you leave behind. If you have any questions or if you might be ready to create a will, feel free to contact the estate planning attorneys at TuckerAllen.