There comes a time in everyone’s life where they need to think about planning their estate. You may not realize, however, that it is a good idea to have a will at a relatively young age. In fact, this raises the question of why it is important to have a will at all. There are many essential benefits to having a will and no downsides. This guide will go into detail about all the reasons.
Why You Should Have a Will
There are several matters that can only be properly handled if you have a will. At the core of the issue, having a will is important because it allows you to:
- Determine who will receive your money
- Determine who will receive your possessions
- Determine who will become the guardian of your children
As you can see, the matters your will handles are incredibly important. Of course, these questions need to be answered whether the deceased has a will or not. A will is simply the way you can guarantee your wishes are carried out. If you do not have a will, the court will make these decisions on your behalf.
Another couple of aspects to consider are probate and estate taxes. Probate is the term for the process by which the courts acknowledge a will, or lack of a will. If you do not have one, probate is going to be much longer. If you want your loved ones to receive your will as quickly as possible, you need to have a will. Additionally, having a will minimizes how much of your estate will be used to pay the necessary taxes. An estate planning lawyer will be able to tell you more.
The Alternative to a Will
While a will is the most common and traditional estate planning option, some people opt to set up a trust instead. This essentially means you transfer possessions and money to a trustee, and then it is transferred to your loved ones at a later time. Setting one up has a few advantages over having a will, although it is usually only considered to be more beneficial in a few rare situations. A trust can avoid probate and estate taxes entirely. However, setting up a trust does involve paying a fee. Often, choosing a trust is only better than a will if you are anticipating high taxes or a long probate. Again, if you are not sure, the first step you should take is to speak to an estate planning lawyer.