10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Last Will and Testament
Have you witnessed, read, or heard about nasty family fights that erupt during estate distribution after a property owner dies? If you haven’t, you’ll most likely do in the future! Most of these cases are vicious and even result in murder – and it’s only because the estate owner didn’t leave behind a will.
Inheritance scuffles are ugly scenarios that you shouldn’t let your family encounter. With a simple last will and testament, you can legally protect your family, assets, and pets, and also set the record straight about how you’d like everything handled when you pass on.
Protecting your family from brutal estate distribution battles is only one of the reasons why you should have a testament. Here are ten more!
1. Gives You Control Even in Death
Without a will, your wish on how to distribute the estate you leave behind doesn’t count. You have no control over how your prized possessions, family assets, and everything else you have worked so hard to acquire is dished out to your next of kin by a random government executor.
Last wills give you control even in death. They let you specify who you want to get a part of your property (whether a relative or friend); what and how much they should get; and under what conditions.
2. Outlines Who You Want to Be Your Kid’s Custodian
There are countless reasons to have a will if you’ve got minor children. No one wants their kids to be cared for by a careless and absentee relative, or for them to end up in foster care. With a will and testament, you can clearly state who you’d want to take care of your small kids and prevent the court from stepping in and choosing a guardian for them among family members or from those provided by the state.
3. A Last Will and Testament Lets You Appoint an Estate Executor
A will lets you determine who will conclude the affairs of your estate and honor all your wishes. They will take up the responsibility of managing and distributing your wealth including paying off outstanding debts. They could be your family lawyer, spouse, or child.
However, without a will the court will appoint a public trustee to handle your estate and they may not do things precisely as you’d have wanted; and their hefty fees (up to 10% of all your wealth) only mean less inheritance gets to reach your beneficiaries.
4. Ensures Your Family Grieves in Peace
The presence of a will does away with any potential family disputes that could advance their grief. If you pass without a testament, many factors have to be taken into consideration when distributing your wealth, determining custody, and even making burial plans. It can take months or years to solve some of these issues and will only cause your family more pain.
With a will, however, they will have adequate time to grieve in peace.
5. Lets You Determine Exactly Where Your Estate Ends Up
If you pass away intestate (without a will), your property will go to specific relatives by default. However, if you don’t have a next of kin, all your estate may go to a long lost cousin you know nothing about, or to someone you had a significant fallout with and didn’t intend to leave them anything (like an ex-spouse who put you through marriage hell and you had to divorce them).
It’s also possible that part or all your estate could end up in the hands of the government if you have no living relatives. Instead of losing your wealth this way, you can have a will and direct that all your wealth goes to charity.
6. Ensures You Pet Is Well Taken Care Of
If you love your pet Billy like a child, you don’t want to leave him in the hands of anyone. Some people aren’t willing to care for other people’s pets, so don’t just assume that somebody from your family will pick up the mantle automatically.
A will ensures that you’ll leave your beloved companion in the care of a specific family member, friend, or pet shelter that is capable of giving them unconditional love and protection instead of ending up at the pound.
7. Lets You Protect Your Spouse or Partner
If you’re not married to your partner but want them to receive your estate when you pass away, a will is vital. You’ll need to indicate that you want your wealth to go to your partner, or else everything including what you own together such as cars or home could go to someone else – and that is your next of kin.
8. Allows You To Set Up a Trust
With a will, you can choose to set up a trust which will go into effect when you pass away. For example, you can create a trust that provides funds for the education and health of your spouse and children. These funds will be released over a set period of years to ensure that your family doesn’t lack in their time of need.
9. Lowers Your Estate Taxes
You most likely want to leave as much inheritance to your beneficiaries as possible. With a will, you minimize your taxes and have more wealth to give to your family and charity.
10. Allows You to Help a Noble Course
People don’t only get wills specifying how to distribute their wealth to loved ones. A will provides a perfect opportunity for you to give back to the community or help a noble course through charity.
It’s a great way to leave behind a legacy and help the poor, or even contribute towards environmental protection for the sake of future generations.
Seek Attorney Help to Draft a Solid Will
Losing a loved takes a huge emotional toll on family members and your dependents. Estate distribution wrangles can make matters worse. However, with a last will and testament, your family can mourn your passing in peace without fighting over who gets what, and why.
Contact us today to help you with any questions or concerns about setting up a will. Let us help you protect your family and property!