If you are reading this blog post, the chances are that you have been in talks about your will and what would happen to your assets if something were to happen to you.
Making a will is an essential thing for everyone – not just the old or sick. So, it’s never too early to start thinking about it! Here, you will learn everything about a will. Dive in!
What Happens When You Don’t Have a Will?
When someone dies, their property passes to the beneficiary named in that person’s “will,” or sometimes called “estate planning document.” If they don’t have one of these documents, then it becomes problematic.
This is because, at law, there are three ways that assets might pass from an estate: through intestate succession (which means allocating inheritance based on a list of people who would inherit by default), as part of probate court proceedings, and by using what is known as “intestacy laws” which allocate how assets should get distributed if there is no living spouse, children or parents with which to share them.
If you don’t prepare for this, it might be difficult for your family members, especially children and parents. They may end up fighting with other relatives over who should inherit from what is left behind.
A Will or a Living Trust?
In the event of death, you want to be sure that what’s left is passed on in a way that suits your wishes. This can be challenging, with property and assets often tied up in legal action or dispute for years.
A will is one possible solution if there’s evidence that those who inherit are likely to pursue litigation over some or all of the estate. However, they will also have drawbacks because you’re relinquishing control by letting someone else decide how things should go post-death – even if they never had input while alive.
On the other hand, a living trust can be more complicated to set up but has several benefits. It allows you to keep control over what happens after your death. Moreover, if you opt for trust loans, ensure they get fully paid to avoid any legal implications.
Hire an Attorney or Not?
The answer to this question is not so straightforward. Some attorneys will charge a flat fee for their services, and others may choose to have the executor pay them hourly rates or on a contingency basis meaning they’ll get paid if there’s any money from the estate.
You should discuss this issue during probate proceedings within 60 days of death, but it does not hurt to be proactive and start working with an attorney early on.
Will You Leave Anything Out?
If you’re over the age of 18 and are preparing your will, it’s crucial to determine what assets that you own or may have in the future. For example, if someone had a 401K account with $250,000 in it at their death date, they would need to make sure that this is listed correctly on their will.
Money and property are often the most difficult things for people to divide, as it always leads to arguments between family members. It’s best not to leave this up to chance when drafting a will or trust agreement if you want your loved ones’ lives after death to be as stress-free as possible.
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