Why is having a Will important?
Writing a will is an important decision in planning for your estate. Ultimately, it carries out your final wishes upon death and how your property will be distributed to your beneficiaries.
No matter how much property you own or its value, having a will is a good idea for anyone – regardless of age. Without a will, your property is distributed by the state and determined by the courts, under intestate succession law. Having a will can protect your property and preserve your best wishes, as well of those of your family, loved ones and other possible beneficiaries.
Leaving Property in a Will
Your will describes how you want your property to be distributed to heirs (beneficiaries) upon your death. Without a will, these decisions are left up to the state.
In most cases, when a person dies without a will, property is distributed by the state to closest family members, such as surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings or other direct family. Without a will, persons who are not directly related to you – including significant others and caregivers (or entities such as charities), cannot inherit property.
If you have minor children, your will is also where you specify who will become the legal guardian of your children when you die. If you do not have a will, the court will decide who is to become the guardian for your children.
If you have pets, this also applies to who will become the caretaker for your pets.
Your will is where you define a Personal Representative (Executor); the person who will administer your estate. Again, if you do not have a will, the Personal Representative will be appointed by the courts.
Overall, having a will is important because it gives you more control in what happens to your property or your children after you die, instead of leaving those decisions up to the state.
For additional information on estates, wills and trusts, contact our offices online or call us today at (734) 397-4540 to set up a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorneys.