Preparing a will may seem like something that only wealthy, older people do. When you think about a will, you may think about surviving family members gathered in a lawyer’s office waiting to learn what they have inherited from a rich relative who has recently passed away. While this is a legitimate scenario in some cases, there are many benefits associated with preparing a will that may apply to you and your family. In fact, these are leading reasons why you should prepare a will as soon as possible.
In a will, you can name the guardian for surviving children and other dependents. This eliminates the risk that your children may be placed in the foster care system. It also prevents a child custody battle between family members. In addition to naming a guardian, your will can also set up a trust or allocate assets that provide for their financial well-being until they are legal adults or even throughout their lives.
Protect and Preserve Your Assets
Your state has specific laws in place regarding personal assets and real estate in the event of the owner’s death. Some people assume that a surviving spouse or their next of kin would receive all assets, but there may be a lengthy legal process in order to accomplish that without a will. Wills and estates lawyers can help you to set up legal documents so that this lengthy, complicated legal process is bypassed. In some cases, more of your assets may be preserved through taxation strategies as well.
Provide for a Loved One if You Are Unmarried
Many adults today want to leave at least some of their assets to a person who they are not married to, such as a life partner. The law typically does not recognize these relationships because they are not legally-binding. In order to ensure that your loved ones are provided for according to your terms and regardless of legal statuses, you need to hire a lawyer to prepare your will.
Death May Come at Any Time
Now that you understand why you need a will, you should consider why you need to begin the process of preparing a will today. Many people pass away due to old age, but others pass away because of a serious accident, a sudden illness or other things. Death can come at any time regardless of your age and health status, so you must be prepared at all times.
If you do not already have a will, now is the time to set up an appointment with a wills and estates lawyer. Remember to review your will periodically to ensure that it continues to meet your needs going forward.
Addy Reeds is a freelance writer from Eugene, Oregon. She discovered her passion for journalism while attending the University of Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @addyreeds1; https://www.facebook.com/addy.reeds