In a recent poll, more than 60 percent of Americans confessed that they did not have a will in place. One third even said that they would much rather do their taxes than think about drafting a will. While it might be a difficult subject to think about, it is extremely important to have an official will in case of emergency. Wills are used to ensure that when you pass your property is properly distributed and that an executor is named to wrap up your estate. It is also important to name a guardian for children so that you can make sure they are taken care of by someone you trust. You can also name a caretaker for your pets so that they go to a good home. In addition, wills act as a backup to a living trust or other estate plan to guarantee that all property is taken care of.
If you pass away without a will in place the effects can be devastating. Most importantly, without a will the decision of your children’s guardianship is left up to the courts. This means that the law and an unknown judge will be responsible for choosing who will raise your children. This is an extremely important decision that you should carefully decide for yourself. Next, without a will your assets will be divided up based on a predetermined legal formula. This formula decides who gets what and how much they receive. This means that your estate can go to people that you did not necessarily want it to, including an ex-spouse. Without a will, your estate will end up going to probate court where a large amount of money will be taken out. Estate taxes go to the federal and state government and without a will more is taken out due to legal fees. These taxes cannot be completely avoided, but they can be lessened by properly directing your money your will.
Creating a will is a fairly easy process. With the help of an attorney, a basic will can take less than one hour to write and just requires two witnesses to sign. Once the will is written it is important to determine a safe place to store it, such as a safe deposit box at the bank or your lawyer’s office. A will is easy to generate and will greatly aid your friends and family during a difficult time.
If you would like to speak with an estate planning attorney about wills, contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville and primarily serves Mecklenburg County and the Lake Norman area.