“The only things certain in life are death and taxes."
No one wants to think about paying taxes or a time when they'll no longer be around, but planning for the inevitable-that is, setting down your wishes in a Will-can not only give you peace of mind, it can also make things easier on your family and friends and save on unnecessary headaches. 7 out of 10 Americans die without a will. This is leaving the decisions of regarding the care and disposition of your home, money and other assets (called your estate), as well as the care of your family upon your death to the State. Every adult should have a Will and below are the top 10 reasons why.
- You can leave property to those you choose. One of the greatest advantages to having a will is that you can choose who will receive what from your estate. Without a will, your estate is subject state laws of "intestacy." That means the people you would like to benefit may receive little or nothing, while others with whom you're not as close receive the bulk. Accordingly, if you are not married but have a long-term partner, he or she could receive nothing under such laws. Alternately, if you are in the process of a divorce but it has not been finalized, without a will, your estranged husband or wife could make a claim on your estate.
- You decide who takes care of your minor children. Dying without a Will could lead to your minor children being placed in the care of a guardian appointed by the Court, no necessarily the person that you would have chosen to raise them. A will allows you to choose a guardian for your children and set aside funds to make sure of their support and comfort.
- You choose your executor.The executor is in charge of making sure all your bequests are carried out. A will gives you complete control over deciding who this will be. The executor should be someone who is willing and able to handle everything that is involved with the closing of your estate. Without a will, a court appoints someone to administer your estate, and that person may not be someone you would choose.
- A Will is revocable. In most states, a Will is not filed until after the person dies. Subsequently, you can change or update your Will at any time throughout your life. Your Will should be updated each time your life situation changes. For example, the birth or death of a beneficiary; a marriage or divorce; a change in the estate tax laws or an increase in the value of your assets.
- You may be able to legally avoid federal estate taxes. Federal estate tax rates range from 37% to 55%. If federal estate taxes are applicable to your situation, a Will or other estate planning tools may be available to legally avoid or reduce this tax. This can result in substantial savings to your beneficiaries.
- You can plan for personal matters.From burial arrangements to pet care, you can use a will to dictate what type of services, if any, you would like, and other personal matters.
- A Will avoids extra costs and confusion. A Will avoids the extra costs and confusion that may result if you die without a Will and have to proceed under state intestate laws.
- You can make specific gifts. In a Will, you can distribute specific items of personal property to specific individuals or charities. You can designate the party to receive your grandmother's diamond ring or your favorite china. This avoids arguments among surviving heirs about what you intended.
- You can disinherit individuals. In a Will, you can disinherit an individual otherwise entitled to receive a distribution of your assets under state law. This permits you to leave certain parties out of your Will. Note, however, that in most states, a spouse cannot be completely disinherited without consent.
- Doesn't have to be expensive. Creating a last will can be surprisingly affordable, particularly if your finances, assets and beneficiaries are fairly straightforward.
Now you know some of the important reasons why you need a will. But what are you going to do about it?
70% of Americans never get around to penning this important legal document. Why is that? Because, we are busy. Between business meetings, golf outings, PTA functions, swim team practice, and other such events that make up our life, we wait until some unrealistic "convenient" time appears on our schedule. Don't let yourself make this mistake. Put "will writing" at the top of that list. Trust me. Your will is more than just a piece of paper. It is a valuable gift to your family.
At Cartier & Bower, LLC, we can provide affordable estate planning for you and your family. Please ask us about our Veteran's discount! We are here to serve those who have served us!!
Please contact Cindy Cartier, Esquire at (203) 458-1477 or email@example.com