Not having a will is like owning a home and not having homeowner's insurance. You know that disaster will strike, you just don’t know when.
Despite all of the celebrity horror stories about famous people who don't have wills, many regular Americans still don't have a will, according to CNBC in "Prince or pauper, young or old, here's why you still need a will." Here are the three top reasons why everyone needs a will.
- Intestacy. The negative effect of dying "intestate" or with no estate plan in place is significant. This can be avoided in as little as one meeting with an experienced estate planning attorney. You have the opportunity to make the impossibly hard decisions involved in estate planning for and on behalf of those you leave behind. Think of your will as your advance instructions on how to administer whatever you have left behind. These will be the very instructions to be followed by the person you designate as your personal representative.
- Legacy. A will gives you an opportunity to fulfill your responsibilities, even after you have passed away. Your influence over your assets, on businesses and charitable goals, and in the lives of your family and friends, can be extended. In your will, you may designate a trustee to control assets you directed to be held in trust on behalf of those you leave behind.
- Family. One of the most important reasons to create a will is for your minor children. In your will you designate those who will take care of your kids in the event both parents die. These folks must be noted as guardians in your will.
Regardless of the size of your estate, a properly prepared and executed will gives your family direction during a difficult time, provides guidance to those who survive you and protects those you love. Speak with an experienced estate planning attorney who can help you create an estate plan that is best suited for you and your family.
Reference: CNBC (May 10, 2016) "Prince or pauper, young or old, here's why you still need a will"