Preparing for what will happen after you pass is a process. But, is a will really important for you and your family to have?
Wanting to protect your family, even after you're gone, is a goal many of us have throughout our adulthood. Leaving behind money, property, and assets to your loved ones can leave you at peace knowing they will be cared for, even if just for a little while. When it comes to leaving things behind to your loved ones, do you need a will? Do you have to write it down and make it official? Is this whole process actually important? That is what we will be discussing today!
When money and possessions come into the picture after a family member has passed away, it can show the ugly side of people, even if they are your relatives. Even if you map out exactly what you want done with your finances and your possessions after you're gone, how do you really know if your good intentions and plans will be followed through with? That is where a will steps in to help. A will legally lays out your wishes with how you want your possessions and finances cared for after you pass, along with naming someone who is responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out. It also comes with the legal power to make sure this all happens. Wills can also make sure that any children left behind will be guaranteed to be left in the care of the guardians of your choice, help with forgiving your debts, and much more. A will guarantees that you decide what happens with your property when you pass, not the state. The state would take your property and distribute it much differently than you probably would. A will makes sure they stay out and away from your personal business and belongings.
As we mentioned before, when money and possessions come into the picture, family and loved ones can get a little, if not very, nasty. A will can give you peace of mind that what you wish to happen will be carried out, and no speculations happen. It also prevents the state from making those decisions for you, which for a big family or a family that has divorce and remarriage in it, can make it very awkward and uncomfortable. Emotions run extremely high after a loss, and people become extremely vulnerable. Families can get hurt even more when fights and disagreements are caused due to possessions and responsibilities left behind. Take that pressure off your loved ones by making any and all decisions ahead of time.
You must follow state law and regulation with your will. Regardless of having one or not, all of your property must go through the process of probate. Thankfully having a will speeds up this process, so your family can take care of the business you left behind faster and receive anything they are due to inherit much quicker. A will also lower your estate taxes. The value of the items you give away will reduce the value of your estate once it comes time to pay taxes on it. A will helps you avoid legal challenges, and allows you to disinherit anyone you wish not to inherit once you pass away.
A will can even help ease the burden of unanswered questions for your loved ones. You figure that those who have walked through life with you know everything there is to know. Sometimes, the most precious memories and explanations can slip away with time. When planning for the end of your life, you can leave behind special memories and reasons why you did what you did. You can write this all down in a letter or small memoir that can be shared and cherished with your loved ones, thanks to the protection and delivery of a will.
What happens without a will? Decisions are made without your consent and quite possibly handled exactly opposite of what you actually would want. Keep in mind that passing without a will is different for every state, and each state decides if a person's belongings go to a sibling, parent, child, or spouse after a person passes away. Not having a will can lead to a very time-consuming process, while the state decides what to do. This includes what to do with your money, too. If you have minor children when you pass and don't have a will, their care and decisions are also taken care of by the state. As hard as a court might try to find the perfect fit for a child, they won't understand family dynamics and could place your children in the care of someone you wouldn't want them to be with. If you are not married to your partner when you pass without a will, they could receive nothing and have everything taken away from them and given to an estranged or distant family member, leaving them in a very difficult position.
Your will is your voice, your power, your decisions, and well wishes. It is something that can be a little time consuming and a difficult process to begin, but it can be the last gift and moment of ease you leave to your loved ones. If you don't already have a will, consider this blog. Consider those you are leaving behind, and consider what responsibilities you'll leave them with. If you have any questions about your finances during this time, need help with your tax payments or tax money for 2019 or 2020, please never hesitate to contact us. We are here to support you and our amazing community of Goose Creek! if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
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