“A will is a legal document that allows you to decide what happens with your estate after you passed away. Unfortunately, not all people consider creating one because they think that it’s complicated and just an extra expense.”
There are a number of reasons to draft a will as soon as possible. If you die without a will (intestate), you leave decisions up to your state of residence according to its probate and intestacy laws. Without a will, you have no say as to who receives your assets or properties. Not having a will could also make it difficult for your family.
Legal Reader’s recent article entitled “Top 7 Reasons to Fill Out a Will” reminds us that, before it is too late, consider these reasons why a will is essential.
Avoid Family Disputes. This process occasionally will lead to disagreements among family members, if there’s no will or your wishes aren’t clear. A contested will can be damaging to relationships within your family and can be costly.
Avoid Costly and Lengthy Probate. A will expedites the probate process and tells the court the way in which you want your estate to be divided. Without a will, the court will decide how your estate will be divided, which can lead to unnecessary delays.
Deciding What Happens to Your Assets. A will is the only way you can state exactly to whom you want your assets to be given. Without a will, the court will decide.
Designating a Guardian for Your Children. Without a will, the court will determine who will take care of your minor children.
Eliminate Stress for Your Family. Most estates must go to probate court to start the process. However, if you have no will, the process can be complicated. The court must name personal representatives to administer your estate.
Protect Your Business. A will allows you to pass your business to your co-owners or heirs.
Provide A Home For Your Pets. If you have a will, you can make certain that someone will care for your pets if you die. The law considers pets as properties, so you are prohibited from leaving assets to your pets in your will. However, you can name beneficiaries for your pets, leaving them to a trusted person, and you can name people to serve as guardians of your pets and leave them funds to meet their needs.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plans or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Reference: Legal Reader (Jan. 28, 2021) “Top 7 Reasons to Fill Out a Will”