Wills, Estates, and Business Succession Planning
70% of Americans do not have a Will…
Do you have a will? Between half and two-thirds of American adults don’t. Do you need one? Only if you answer yes to any of the questions below:
1. Do you care who gets your property if you die?
2. Do you care who gets your money if you die?
3. Do you care who is appointed guardian of your minor children if you die?
Who Needs A Will?
Wills are not just for the rich. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a will ensures that whatever personal belongings and assets you do have will go to family or beneficiaries you designate. Without a will, the court makes these decisions.
If you have children, a will is a must, to ensure that you get to choose your children’s guardian. Few people plan to die in the near future, but if you die suddenly without a will, you’ll be subjecting your family and loved ones to confusion and anxiety during what is already a very difficult time.
What about your funeral? Church services? Internment or cremation? Donation of organs? Your failure to decide these issues up front places a stressful and enormous burden on your family and friends. Often, there is a debate over what you would have wanted. These debates usually end badly. Why cause this debate?
There are other benefits to having a will, including tax benefits.
If you die without a will, the state writes one for you. The court names a guardian for your minor children and divvies up your assets according to state law. If you’re single with no dependents, your parents or your siblings inherit your possessions. Friends, companions and charities do not receive any property. If you have no relatives, the state is your heir.