People often put off making a will, but there are many reasons why you should have one. You may believe it’s fine to create a will at a later date because you’re young and in good health, but we all know that no one can say with any certainty what the future has in store. If you’re hesitant about taking the time to make a will now, here are four reasons why it’s a good idea to have a will as part of your estate plan.
1. You Get to Decide How Your Assets Are Distributed
A will is a document that sets out how you want your property to be distributed to your heirs when you die. At your death, the property you own—for example, cash, real estate, vehicles— will be given to your beneficiaries in accordance with what’s set out in your will. If you don’t have a will, the laws of intestacy will take over. This means your property will be distributed according to Missouri laws, rather than what you wish.
2. You Have Minor Children
You might not think you need a will because you don’t have many assets, but if you have children who are under 18, you need to appoint a guardian who will take care of them in the event of your death, and this can be done in your will. If at your death you haven’t appointed a guardian and your child has no other parent available to take care of them, it will be up to the court to decide who will be appointed as your child’s guardian.
3. You Get to Decide Who Administers Your Estate
In your will, you’ll name someone to be your personal representative or executor. This is the person who will be in charge of administering your estate in the event of your death. It’s an important role that should be given to someone you trust because your personal representative will be in charge of using your assets to pay off your debts and distributing your remaining property to your beneficiaries.
4. You Get to Choose Your Beneficiaries
As mentioned above, if you die without a will, the laws of intestacy take over. These laws dictate who gets your assets if you do not have a will at your death. Making a will means you can choose who will get your property. It also means you can choose who won’t get a share of your assets, even if that person might be entitled to inherit under the laws of intestacy. Note, however, that you can’t disinherit a surviving spouse unless there’s a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement stating otherwise. Speak with a Springfield estate planning attorney if this might be something you’re considering.
Consult With a Springfield Estate Planning Attorney Today
With a will, you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family will be provided for the way you want in the event anything happens to you. A Springfield estate planning attorney can prepare a will for you that’s in accordance with your wishes. Contact an estate planning attorney at Parks & Jones today for a consultation.