Why You Need a Will
It is startling to learn than 55% of Americans die each year without a will. Preparing for one’s demise has never been anyone’s favorite thing to do, but, if more people knew what happens to their estate when they die without a proper will, they would probably overcome their reluctance. No matter how small your estate, there will be consequences for your surviving family if you die without a will.
When someone dies, their estate becomes subject to probate proceedings. And if a will doesn’t exist, the state becomes the executor. That means, the state will decide how the property is to be distributed, who gets paid first, and, they can even establish guardianship for children. It would be hard to imagine a situation in which the state would dispose of your estate in exact accordance with your wishes. After the delay and costs of an “intestate” probate, your family will suffer far more than you have intended.
Wills are simple. They are inexpensive. And, they are one of the most important financial and legal documents you could have. It’s the ultimate act of love for your family and the final responsibility for ensuring their financial security. For a few extra bucks, you could add a power of attorney and a medical directive to ensure that you’re your affairs are managed according to your wishes while you’re alive, but incapacitated. Getting all of this done will take about an hour of your time, but it will prevent a lifetime of heartache.