Your last will and testament is a set of legal instructions that communicates your wishes regarding your dependents and how to dispose of your property when you die. If you have people who you love and care for, then creating a will for your peace of mind and their protection is the right thing to do. Though crafting your will can make you face some uncomfortable topics, like mortality, it does not compare to the difficulty your loved ones will face trying to handle the logistics problems in the absence of your will.
A Caring.com survey on Wills finds that One in four Americans have reported that inflation has led them to recognize a heightened necessity for estate planning. Furthermore, younger Americans are 63% more inclined to possess an estate plan in comparison to the previous year, with over one-third acknowledging that inflation has contributed to their increased need for such planning. A quarter of Americans who do not possess a will have expressed that they are not motivated to obtain one, while over 40% have stated that they will not do so until their life is in peril. A staggering two-thirds of Americans do not possess any form of estate planning documentation.
Many Americans feel they do not have enough assets to deem a will necessary, but unless you are destitute, you probably own a lot more than you think.
Property ownership includes things like:
You do not have to be wealthy, or even close to it, to benefit from having a will. Your will also protects your family and loved ones at a time when their focus should be on grieving your loss, not administering to legal issues because you did not have a will.
Wills are subject to state law. Dying without a will, it is known as dying intestate, and the determination of the distribution of your assets becomes the responsibility of a probate court. The probate court appoints an administrator who will act as your executor, identifying legal claims against your estate, paying off outstanding debts, and locating your legal heirs. Locating heirs only occurs in the case where your property is worth more than your outstanding debts.
If you have an existing will we would be happy to review it to make sure it still reflects your wishes. If you don’t have a will we would be happy to help you create one that makes sense for your situation. Taking these steps now will bring you peace of mind, save your estate money, and protect your family and loved ones. Reach us (207)848-5600 or check out our contact page.