A will details what you want to happen to your estate and other assets after you pass away (or become incapacitated under certain circumstances) according to a wills lawyer with our friends the Law Group of Iowa. This legal document is crucial in choosing who gets certain assets and who you designate to handle your estate. For many, a will ensures your legacy is passed on. However, nearly two-thirds of Americans currently don’t have a will. We’ll explore the top reasons why you should create a will and when to call an attorney.
- It Takes the Burden off of Your Family
Most estates must go through probate court to commence legally managing and distributing assets. This process alone can be time-consuming and stressful for your loved ones. However, these stresses are magnified when you don’t have a will. Deciding who gets what can be a difficult process for your loved ones and the court system to sort out. Additionally, conflicts can arise, especially when family members are already dealing with grieving. By having a will, you set forth in motion two important benefits:
- You can name an executor: When writing your will, you can name an executor who will manage your estate, including ensuring assets are properly distributed to the right parties. If you don’t name an executor, the courts will pick someone for you, which can lead to bad outcomes.
- You can decide who gets assets and who doesn’t: Grief can make family members can sometimes fight, even if they usually get along. With a will, you can succinctly designate who gets what assets or property and most cases of contention will fall flat.
- Choose Who Will Take Care of Your Minor Children
If you’re a parent, you may want to write a will simply to designate who will take care of your minor children in the case of your demise. While a surviving parent usually gains full custody, you should still designate a guardian in case both parents pass away. If you don’t designate a guardian then the court system will choose the guardian for you.
- Make Sure Your Pets Are Taken Care Of
Pets are considered property meaning, unfortunately, you can’t decide to leave your home to your cat or dog. However, you can choose a beneficiary to take care of your furry companions. Choose a family member or a trusted friend to help.
- Ensure Your Digital Assets Are Handled
Social media accounts are a big part of most peoples’ lives and you can gain peace of mind knowing that your will is detailing how you want your accounts handled. Whether you want your Facebook account closed, a page left up in your memory, etc.
- Funeral Instructions
Funeral instructions in a will aren’t legally binding. However, these instructions can tell your loved ones how you want your funeral handled.
These are five reasons why you should create a will today. The process of creating a will, unfortunately, isn’t always straightforward, which is why you’ll want to speak to an attorney.