Creating a will is not a luxury that is reserved for wealthy individuals. It is an action that every person should take.
According to a recent study by the AARP, approximately 60 percent of Americans don’t have wills. This number indicates that the majority of families in the United States will face financial chaos when a loved one dies.
Dying without a will can be costly for your loved ones. Here are the costs of not having a will.
1. A will provides your family with instructions about the way your assets should be divided.
Another purpose of a will is to appoint a person to oversee the division of your assets. Without a will, the division of your assets could be delayed months or years.
2. If you are a parent of a young child, you can designate guardians in your will.
This is an important feature of a will. If you die without a will, your state’s court system may decide who takes care of your children.
3. Probate court can be expensive and time-consuming.
Here are a few expenses that you can expect to pay.
- Court Costs (Hundreds or Thousands of Dollars)
- Personal Representative Fees
- Accounting Fees
- Attorney’s Fees
- Bond Fees
- Appraisal and Business Valuation Fees
4. Personal relationships can suffer as a result of not having a will.
It’s no secret that grief and money are an explosive combination. In fact, the majority of fights after a loved one’s death are caused by money issues. Some family members may try to take advantage of other family members. To alleviate any potential arguments, it’s best to leave a will.
5. Depending on the laws in your state, your assets may be given to family members you don’t like or know.
When the courts divide your assets among your next of kin, they won’t ask questions about the status of your relationship with the beneficiaries.
6. Contrary to popular belief, setting up a will can cost a small amount of money.
If you want to save money, you can create a will using online estate planning software. Planning your will before you die could result in large tax and probate savings. Without a will, you will miss the opportunity to pass these savings on to your family.
7. If you live with your significant other and you aren’t married, the court won’t recognize your partner as a beneficiary unless you have a will.
This could pose various problems. If you own a home in which your unmarried partner resides, your partner may be required to leave the home. If you have joint assets, your partner may have to share them with the legal beneficiaries.
A will is a way for you to protect your family members after your death. If you don’t have a will, you should make the easy choice and draft one. By making the investment now, you can save your family members from the future costs if you die without a will.