As you get older, it is important to consider your future and the future of those around you. With this in mind, one of the best things that you can do is make a will. A will allows you to leave your assets to those who are important in your life and ensures that they are taken care of after your death.
What Is a Will?
A will is a legal document that states how you wish for your assets and property to be distributed after your death. When you die without having made a will, state law determines who inherits what assets and property. In most cases, spouses or children are given priority over other family members. This means that if there are no children or spouse, then siblings may be given priority over other family members such as cousins or uncles. In addition, if there is no spouse or children and no siblings then parents may inherit from their child’s estate instead of other family members like cousins.
While many people believe that making a will is an unnecessary expense, it actually offers a number of benefits.
Making a will can help ensure that your wishes are carried out after you die, including the distribution of assets and debts. It also allows you to choose who will care for your children in the event of your death, which is especially important if you have young children.
A will ensures that your assets are transferred to those you love in accordance with your wishes. If you don’t have a will, state law determines who gets what — and this may not be what you want.
A will also helps avoid probate court proceedings if there’s no one named as executor in the document. Without one, the courts must appoint someone to administer your estate and settle any outstanding debts or taxes owed by it before distributing any remaining funds among heirs or beneficiaries.
If there’s no will, it could take longer for assets to be distributed and taxes paid because more time will be required for court proceedings related to distribution of assets as well as tax filings by executors or administrators. (And if there are complications in determining who should receive what part of an estate, expect even more time and expense.)
You may want to leave gifts for friends or family members who are not related by blood or marriage. A will allows you to do this on an individual basis so that each person receives what they need from the estate rather than having everything split evenly among everyone.