Having a will is an essential part of your estate plan. A will is a necessity for just about everyone, regardless of the size of their estate. Having a will allows you to do a great degree of planning that cannot be done without a will.
What are the advantages of having a will? Having a will allows you to…
- Choose who will handle your affairs after you pass – A will permits you to choose your executor along with alternate executors. You can choose a person or persons you believe to be honest and trustworthy to collect the assets of your estate, pay your final debts and taxes, and distribute your remaining estate to your beneficiaries.
- Choose your beneficiaries – Without a will, your estate will be distributed according to a standard formula set out in state law. A will permits you to choose your beneficiaries, instead of having that choice made for you by a judge and by the formula chosen by the state legislature.
- Name a guardian for your minor children – As a parent of minor children you can especially benefit from this advantage of a making a will, because it permits you to choose your children’s guardian in the event of your premature demise.
- Avoid situations that encourage arguments among heirs – Having a will permits you to choose specific items of your estate to go to specific beneficiaries, thereby eliminating potential arguments.
- Protect beneficiaries from themselves – Having a will allows you to create a trust or trusts in your will that could protect your beneficiaries. Such a trust could manage the assets passing to any specific beneficiary in the manner you choose, and be administered by a trustee you name. Such a trust could last until the beneficiary reaches an age you choose. Without such a trust, the beneficiary would gain control of their funds at age of 18, regardless of their level of maturity.
- Simplify the probate process – By having a will, the probate process is simplified. With a will, the process of collecting your estate assets and distributing to your beneficiaries is relatively simple. Without a will, such a process can be much more complicated, expensive and time consuming.