Benefits Of Owning A Will

Having a Will could be one of the most important and responsible duties you can do for yourself and your family. A Will can legally protect your spouse, children, and assets by spelling out your wishes exactly how you would like them after you have passed on.

While each person’s situation varies, here are seven great reasons why to consider owning a Will today if you don’t already have one:

Since Wills are legally-binding documents, you can determine how your estate will be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, it means you have died “intestate” and intestacy laws of the state where you reside will determine how your property will be distributed upon your death. Having a will helps minimize any family fights about your estate that may arise.

A Will allows you to choose who should take care of your minor children, and also who you do NOT want to take care of them. Without a Will, the court will take it upon itself to choose among family members or a state-appointed guardian.

All estates must go through the probate process, with or without a Will, having a Will speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you’d like your estate to be divided among whom.

Because the value of what you give away to family members or charity can reduce the actual value of your estate, the adjusted value will be reflected when it’s time to pay estate taxes.

Because the Executor plays such an important role in the administration of your estate to set your affairs in order (such as paying off bills, cancelling credit cards, notifying pertinent business establishments), you’ll want to be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy, and organized (which may or may not always be a family member).

You may disinherit individuals out of their will (such as an ex-spouse with whom you had a bitter divorce). Dying intestate may leave your estate ending up in the hands of someone you did not intend.

Part of your legacy could involve gifts to charities, which could be excluded from estate tax. Be sure to check the current laws for your year to learn the most up-to-date gift tax exclusions.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Reasons for not having a will include procrastination and the unwillingness to accept death as part of life. Sometimes the realization that Wills are necessary comes too late – such as when an unexpected death occurs. To avoid the added stress on families during an already emotional time, it may be wise to meet with a Pamana Will-planning expert to help you draw up a basic Will at the minimum price, before it’s too late.