Wills are no longer for the extremely wealthy. Nowadays, it’s important for many adults to have proper wills in place, even if they don’t have many assets. A will ensures that your wishes are carried out after you die and that your family is taken care of. Here are some of the consequences of dying without a will.
No Opportunity to Provide Funeral and Burial Preferences
In a will, you can specify your wishes for your funeral and burial. For example, you may wish to leave religion out of your funeral and be cremated instead of buried. Without a proper will in place, your family members may never know what you truly wanted. Plus, if you don’t have a will, you may not leave money aside to pay for your funeral and burial. The last thing you want is to burden your family with these costs when they’re already grieving.
Assets May Go to Unintended People
One of the benefits of having a will is having the chance to specify who you want your assets to go to. If you don’t have a will, your assets may go to unintended people. For example, let’s say that you have a piece of fine art that you want to give to your best friend. Without a will, your best friend will most likely not receive that piece of fine art.
No Opportunity to Select a Guardian for Children
If you have minor children, you want to make sure they’re taken care of should you die unexpectedly. That’s another reason it’s important to have a proper will in place. In a will, you can specify the person you want to look after your kids after you die. If you die without a will, the court will appoint a guardian for your children. This person might not be someone you want to look after your children.
Common-Law and Same-Sex Relationships Aren’t Recognized
If you’re in a common-law or same-sex relationship and don’t have a will, your significant other won’t receive anything from your estate when you die.
Miss Out on Tax Savings
You don’t want your beneficiaries to pay more in estate taxes than they have to. Unfortunately, without a will, they may have to pay significant taxes after you die. If you establish a valid will, you can minimize estate taxes and save your family members a lot of stress.
If you’re ready to create a will, consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA, today.
Thanks to Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into the consequences of dying without a will.