Did you know that 64 percent of American adults lack a will? A will serves as instructions on how your affairs and assets are handled after death. Estate planning uses the will as its most basic tool. Even if you own a trust, you should still get a will too. The will covers any assets the trust doesn’t have coverage for. The consequences of dying without a will affect your loved ones the most. Do not leave them high and dry.
The Consequences of Not Having a Will
No Say on How Assets Are Managed: Having a say on how your assets are distributed is the whole point of having a last will and testament. The oversight will only spare those named as beneficiaries or covered by a trust. Death without a will is referred to as “Intestate”. The state will typically decide for the intestate individual on how to divide his remaining assets.
Most people put off making a will because they don’t want to think about leaving their children behind. If you have no will, then the court will name a guardian for your children. Judges make the best possible decision for children.
- The State Distributes According to the Following Hierarchy: Commonly, the majority of the estate ends up with the spouse. The children can also receive a share. If there couple has no children, the parents instead will reap the benefits. From there, the state will look for siblings, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts, and cousins. If the state finds no further blood relatives, the estate becomes property of the state by the escheatment process.
- Personal Representative Is Court-Appointed: Personal representatives and executors are designated by a Will. The lack of a will should result in the court appointing an executor. This person is responsible for how your estate will be divided by your will or by what the court decides. Also, they pay taxes and final bills. They also oversee the proper distribution of assets.
- No Provisions for Charity or Non-Blood Relatives: Your estate won’t have a provision for charity without a written will. This is also true for provisions on persons not related by marriage or blood. Named beneficiaries are the exception. You need to set down on your will if you want your best friend to get a remembrance or a charity to acquire your wealth.