A last will and testament protects against a variety of negative consequences.
Preventative measures are important.
Many people keep umbrellas in their cars in case it rains.
Applying sunscreen is common to decrease the chances of developing skin cancer.
Expectant mothers often pack hospital bags in advance so they are ready to “deliver” at anytime.
According to a recent Real Simple article titled “6 Reasons You Need to Make a Will Now,” creating a last will and testament is key to preparing for your eventual death and for preventing negative consequences for your loved ones.
Unfortunately, fewer than half of adult Americans currently have a last will.
If you or your loved ones fall into this category, consider these reasons for creating a last will and testament.
Last wills help avoid unwanted consequences.
You may simply assume everything passes to your family automatically when you die.
This is not always the case.
States have their own rules governing those who inherit by default if there is no last will and testament.
If you are not married to your partner, you could unintentionally disinherit him or her.
In some states, estates are divided between the surviving spouse and children.
This could leave your spouse without the ability to maintain the current standard or living or remain in the family home.
Creating a last will and testament allows you to decide who inherits and how much they receive.
Wills are used to nominate guardians for minor children.
It may seem unlikely something could happen to you and your spouse at the same time.
Unfortunately, parents often die together.
Do you ever drive or fly together?
This may leave their children in the custody of the state department of social services if they do not have a guardian nominated in their respective last will and testament documents.
Your children may enter foster care until the court can establish who will rear your children.
This could either be a relative with whom you have value conflicts or a complete stranger.
Last wills with pet trusts can protect pets after your demise.
Your furry loved ones are likely not equipped to live alone without you.
They will require your support and planning.
Because pets are considered property by law, they cannot inherit directly.
You can create a pet trust and a trusted person to serve as the caretaker for your pet as the trustee.
You should provide details regarding the care of your pet.
Without a plan in place, your furry family member may end up in a kill shelter.
Estate planning should include tax planning.
Taxes can remove a significant sum from the inheritance you leave your loved ones.
With appropriate planning, you can minimize this tax burden.
Whether your estate is large or small, you can preserve more of it for your loved ones with estate planning.
Estate planning gives peace of mind.
Your loved ones are impacted by what you do and fail to do.
If you do not create an estate plan, you are leaving them with worry, stress, and conflict.
Provide yourself and your loved ones peace of mind by creating a last will and testament.
Putting estate planning off never ends well.
Although you may think you do not need an estate plan because you are young and healthy, you are taking a great risk.
Little in life is anticipated.
By working with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a last will and testament, and comprehensive estate plan, you will be better prepared for what life has in store for you.
Come what may.
Reference: Real Simple (June 25, 2021) “6 Reasons You Need to Make a Will Now”