Let’s face it: death is scary. And talking about death seems to make it even scarier, so most people avoid the topic altogether. What many don’t realize is that procrastination in talking about this uncomfortable issue will create added stress and complication for loved ones already distraught and grieving. To help you and your family, the skilled Sodoma Law estate planning attorneys created a list of four reasons you should stop procrastinating today, and start to plan your will.
- If you have a will, you’re in control.
The surest and best reason to have a will is that you decide exactly what happens to everything you leave behind. Everyone thinks their situation is pretty straight forward and will be easily worked out by their family, but if you have more than one heir, it quickly becomes complex. If you have small children, who will raise them? Who will care for any pets you have? Who will settle your bills or sell your home? Do you even want your home sold, or should it be kept in the family? These are all complex situations for family members to try and determine, and if you leave them no instructions, you are letting them guess how you would want your estate settled. Creating a will alleviates all the confusion and puts you in the driver’s seat.
- A well-managed estate can reduce your tax liability, leaving more for your family.
How hard have you worked for your money and assets? Everyone hates to pay taxes, but should your loved ones have to pay taxes again on the money you’ve already been taxed on? This is just one of the complex questions an estate attorney can help you figure out. Getting solid tax advice will benefit your loved ones and help them plan financially for challenging things like taking over the family business. Tax laws vary by state, so getting a skilled estate attorney in your state is critical to discovering the best ways to reduce tax liabilities. Planning ahead can help you ensure your family gets the bulk of your assets.
- A will avoids family disputes.
We all have families and therefore, and invariably, we all have family disputes. Leaving behind your belongings and hoping that your family will respectfully work out a fair split of your estate is a sure-fire way to stoke the fire of dispute. Having a document that clearly instructs who gets what not only eliminates many disputes, it also makes it faster and easier for everyone to settle your affairs. Dragging things out and possibly having to involve the courts is that last thing anyone would wish for their family members. There are no guarantees that family members will not argue over items, but leaving behind clear instruction in your will is the best way to reduce family arguments. A will is a simple gift everyone should leave their loved ones to help make the process as easy as possible.
- Without a will, the state will choose your heirs.
Probably the worst thing that a family can go through after your passing is dealing with a court to settle your estate. While we have one of the best systems in the world, the courts will follow whatever intestacy laws are in the state if you have no will. In many cases the inheritance laws are straightforward, but in some cases it can be difficult to determine who inherits. Again the question is, why would someone leave a mess behind if a simple will can avoid complicated intestacy laws? Avoid this mess and get your will started today. It’s your property, you should decide how it is passed on, not a court.
No one should be left with the responsibility of guessing how you want your estate settled. Sodoma Law, P.C. provides peace of mind planning for individuals, families, and business owners regarding a wide variety of estate, trust, and business issues through our Estate Planning Group. At Sodoma Law, our attorneys will not only meet your estate planning needs, but will also help guide you through the common legal issues your loved ones may face after your passing. Contact us today to discover the many estate planning services we offer.