All of us have heard that making a will is important. But many of us do not know why it is exactly so. It is said that if you die without making a will, you are supposed to have died ‘intestate’ owing to which the rules of intestacy will apply. Hence, it is a better idea to have a will made than to administer the complex and expensive ‘intestacy’ estate.
Let’s start from the scratch to understand better why is it important to have a will.
What is a Will?
You decide who should take care of your concerns after your death by making a will. It is a legal document that becomes functional after you have died. Not only that, you also choose who should benefit from your property and who should not. It also quickens the administration procedure and reduce administration costs, provides for an unmarried partner, takes care of the minor children, materializes your funeral wishes and helps in the preservation of assets that would otherwise be used to fund care home fees.
Importance of a will
Browse through the following points to understand the importance of a will:
Your will decides who gets your things after your death
The most important and primary reason for making a will is to decide who your property will go to when you die. You should hire an experienced wills lawyer to prepare your will. If you do not have a will, your property will be distributed as per the laws of your state. Your closest relatives such as your spouse, parents or children usually get the property in such a situation.
Entrust the person of your choice with the guardianship of your children
If you have minor children, use your will for nominating a guardian for them. The guardian would be entrusted with the work of looking after your children after your death.
If you pass away without a will, the court will decide the guardian for your minor children.
Use your will to name an executor
There has to be someone to wrap up your estate after your demise. You can use your will to name an executor to accomplish this job. If it is not in place, the court will appoint an individual for doing this task.
Have a will naming your successors
One of the necessary elements of having a will is selection and naming of your successors. You should choose your successors trustee carefully as he/she has a lot of responsibility i.e taking financial decisions, paying bills, selling assets etc. Successor trustee is the person who will step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death. A successor can be your adult child, relatives, trusted friend or a corporate trustee.
Decide on a caretaker for your pet
You can decide on a caretaker for your pet by providing for it in your will. You can leave behind a sum of money for taking care of it. It is the simplest way of arranging for your pet’s care after your demise.
Decide on a property manager for looking after your children’s property
If you or someone else leaves property for your children, through a will, trust, or life insurance or other beneficiary designation, it should ideally be managed by an adult. When you provide for their property, you can instruct on how to use or manage them as well, either through a trust or through UTMA. You can decide on a property manager to handle any property that is found without a named guardian.
You can have a backup for your living trust or other estate plan
You may think you do not require a will since you have a living trust or there is no need for naming a guardian for kids or pets. But it is always useful to have a back up will, which will cover any property that has not been covered in any of your estate planning devices. Suppose you have forgotten to transfer a property into your living trust, the back up will would take care of it.