When you have a family, you simply cannot leave your estate in the hands of the government to divvy up. If you don’t have an idea of how the state handles this, you should take a look at an intestacy calendar to see how your assets will be divided. You will be shocked about where your money is going and the reasoning behind not giving money to the people you feel should receive it. The only way to protect your family and assure they’re going to receive the benefits they deserve from your estate is to draft a will. There’s no reason to put this off, because you simply don’t know what the future will bring.
Protect Your Family from Making Health Decisions for You
When you draft a will, keep in mind you need to have a living will as well as a last will and testament. This is because if you should happen to suffer from a debilitating illness or accident, your family will still need to go on without you. Important decisions you would normally make will now need to be made by someone else, according to Livestrong. Filling out a living will using one of the top rated companies for wills online can help to establish who these people are. A look at the Legal Zoom reviews can help you to choose a website to help you create your living will. Make sure you include in your living will any instructions for your health care team. This can put the decision making process in the hands of one person rather than landing it on your family to decide. This is different from a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. It is more a power of attorney for the person who can make the health decisions for you if needed.
The Government Does Not Agree with You
As mentioned above, the government just does not agree with you when it comes to distributing your wealth. If you make a will, you’re going to retain the ability to dole out your estate as you see fit, according to Forbes. If you pay attention to the state laws, you might uncover some rather odd laws on the books. For instance, in some states they will make provisions to divide the estate for yet unborn children. In others, the estate will go solely to the spouse and others still, the entire family gets an equal share of the estate. If you disagree that your eight year old should receive just as much of your estate as your wife, you should have a will to dictate how much money every member of your family should receive. If you’re of the mindset you want your spouse to receive everything, keep in mind that only 16 states have adopted laws in which the spouse gets everything. There are situations where siblings have to divide assets clearly spelled out. It’s better to not leave anything to chance and draft a will.
Make Sure Guardianship of Minors is Transferred Properly
If you happen to be a single parent, it’s highly important to draft a will, according to CNN. This is because without drafting a will, there’s no way to be sure of who will receive legal guardianship of your children. Children might become wards of the state, or the court will decide who among your blood relatives can take custody of the children. This could mean the children going to live with a member of the family who may treat the children poorly. You cannot afford the chance your children will go to the right people. It needs to be spelled out in your will. Even if you’re in a marriage, you may want to have a will indicating your wife will retain legal guardianship of the children lest by some twist of fate the courts decide to send the children away.
Provide for the Special Needs of Your Children or Grandchildren
Your children and grandchildren should have the right to receive a portion of your estate if you desire. This is especially important if you feel strongly about these children and grandchildren going to specific schools, according to CBS News. Make sure you spell out in your will which children are getting the money you’re passing along and what they’re getting the money for. If the children have special needs, you can dictate that the money is going to be used to satisfy these special needs. Your will even can dictate when the children will receive the money. To be assured they will receive everything, you may want to consider using a living trust in addition to your will. This way, the state cannot touch the money you’re setting aside for the children. Talk with a law professional to make sure is accomplishing all of your goals effectively.