Creating a will is an important part of being an adult. It means you are aware of your own mortality and are taking proactive steps to protect your loved ones. Understanding estate planning options requires a discussion with a trusted estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer.
Creating a Will
A last will and testament is a legal document laying out what you want to have happen to your assets and your belongings after you are gone. A will also appoints a person called an executor or personal representative whose job it is to ensure your wishes, as laid out in your will, are followed. A will only becomes effective once you die.
To create a will, you need to lay out specific instructions for how your assets should be distributed after your death. The best way to ensure your will is drafted according to state law is to speak with a trusted estate planning attorney who can guide you through your entire estate plan, ensuring no detail is missed.
When You Die Without a Will
Dying without a will is called “dying intestate.” Many people are concerned that the state will take all of their property if they die intestate. That’s not accurate, but it doesn’t mean that dying without a will isn’t costly. It is.
When you die intestate, rules of inheritance kick in. This means if you have a spouse, they will get everything. If you have children, they will get everything, split evenly between all of your children. Only when no relatives can be found does the state acquire your belongings.
The state won’t do all of this work for free, though. In fact, the state will take a percentage of your total estate value as payment for distributing your assets. In the end, it’s much cheaper to draft a will than to die intestate.
Probate Isn’t Very Expensive with a Will
When you have a will, generally the only assets that must be probated are assets where title changes. These are called “probate assets” and are generally larger and more valuable items, such as cars and real estate.
All of your smaller and less valuable items will not go through probate. This means probate should not take very much time and will not cost much money. If the total value of your estate is small enough, your estate may avoid probate altogether, saving even more time and money.
See An Attorney Today
It might seem like a hassle now, but drafting a will can save your loved ones a great deal of time, effort, and money. When you meet with a skilled and experienced estate planning attorney, you can rest assured your wishes and desires will be met. A good lawyer will give you the guidance you need to ensure you have your estate plan drafted properly and that it conveys your wishes about how your assets should be distributed.