Many people hold the common misconception that you only need a will if you are wealthy. This myth is quite off the mark. Wills do many things that people of all income groups may find very helpful. Today, we'll go over some of the reasons why establishing a will is important, regardless of one's wealth.
Control over your assets
Do you know what happens to your property when you die? With a will, the answer is typically your wishes. Wills allow you to specify exactly where you want your assets to go when you pass away. This is not only the case for big-ticket items, but also for smaller items of significant emotional value, like cherished family mementos.
If a person dies without a will, control over his or her assets instead generally defers to state intestacy laws. Depending on your situation, the asset distribution dictated by such laws could be quite different from what you would want. So, there can be significant risks to relinquishing control over the after-death distribution of your property to such laws by not having a will.
Protection for your kids
A will can address more than just what will happen to your property. These documents can also include important provisions regarding your kids. Specifically, parents can name a guardian of their kids in the event of death or incapacity.
Preventing future family disputes
The last thing you may want is for your estate to become a source of strife within your family. Estate disputes can be very hard on a family. Wills may be able to reduce the chances of such conflict.
For one, having one's wishes clearly stated in a will might help head off some potential flashpoints for disputes.
Also, in a will you can pick who will manage your estate when you die. This role is called the personal representative. You can give thought to who would be most likely to maintain peace within the family during the probate process when deciding who to name for this role.
For a will to reach its full potential, it needs to be well-tailored and enforceable. So, it can be important to seek capable guidance when drafting this significant estate planning document.
Also, while wills can help with a lot of things, they do have their limits. So, it can also be important to look into what estate planning steps and documents can help with the things wills don't address.