Losing a family member or a loved one is a devastating experience. But the situation can become harder if the individual didn’t write a will. Losing a loved one without a will can be particularly painful if the individual leaves an estate or other such properties behind since the laws of intestate succession, which are dictated by the state, will determine how assets are distributed.
Death is an inevitable part of life. While you can never prepare for it, leaving your estate to your loved ones after your death is certainly one way you can make sure they’re taken care of. However, everything can go haywire if you don’t plan in advance. Without a will, the government has the authority to decide how your assets are to be distributed.
So, the best thing to do is make your wishes clear by creating a will, likely with the help of an Estate Planning attorney. It definitely not feels pleasant to think about our own death, but having a will written in advance might be necessary. Here are some of the reasons why estate planning is an important thing to do.
Unpleasant Legal Matters
Dying without a will is one of the worst things a person can do. It not only causes immense grief to your loved ones, but it also leaves your loved ones to deal with a very unpleasant legal situation. The absence of a will means you lose control of what happens to your estate.
What it means is that a probate court decides how your property is distributed. Until you die, everything you own is property, such as your house, car, bank accounts, etc. When you find yourself dying without a will, the court decides how much of your personal property goes to whom. Family members often suffer the most from the lack of a proper estate plan since the courts will split your assets among themselves based on who’s the closest blood relative.
Conflict To the Family
You may think you’re the only one who cares what happens with your assets and possessions after you die. You may believe your loved ones will inherit everything you own without an issue. But, the fact of the matter is, without a valid will, you can end up causing a great deal of confusion. And, unfortunately, your loved one(s) may find themselves fighting with other family members over who gets what.
You Won’t Be Able to Choose Who Gets What
A will is a document that dictates how a person’s property should be distributed to beneficiaries after they pass away. Because a will is the only way to determine who gets what, without it, your heirs may end up with irrelevant items, or worse, nothing at all. So, often it is better to have a document that transfers ownership of your property, no matter what condition it is in, to a beneficiary so that it doesn’t end up in legal limbo. If you don’t have the time to make a comprehensive will, then at least making quitclaim deeds for your most important properties might be a good idea. Even if it comes with encumbrances, documented intent goes a long way in dictating inheritance.
You Won’t Be Able to Create Conditions
You might have decided to divide your property according to your understanding. However, without a proper estate plan or will, the state will divide your property based on state law, which may not necessarily be how you want your property divided.
Leaving Your Children to The Person You Don’t Want To
If you have children, you will probably need to make an estate plan. So, if you don’t have one, make one as soon as possible. If you are being careless and postponing the task to later dates, you might be leaving the fate of your kids up to someone else. When you leave this world without a will, your kids will be left to whoever is assigned to take care of them by the state. This usually involves the state deciding who should get your kids, like your family, friends, or acquaintances.
You Won’t Be Able to Leave a Message
People may overlook the importance of a will, but setting up a legally binding document that outlines the terms of your affairs and your heirs is important, whether you’re single or have children. As part of your will, you can include a message of support and love to your heirs; chances are they will want to read it.
So, the lack of a will can mean that your estate can be subject to probate, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. That said, be sure to create a will. It can help your heirs, but most states will allow you to name a guardian or conservator for minor children in case both parents die. On a similar note, a legal professional can also help you create a will, explain the provisions of the document, and help you avoid probate after your death.