It happens all too often. Someone passes away without even a simple will. Which means your wishes may not be carried out. From custody of children to division of property, there are many decisions that you won’t be able to make.
Because the government makes the decisions.
If you pass without a will, the estate is split according to how the government decided was the best method years ago. Generally that means it goes to your spouse first, then to your children in equal proportions.
Standard rules will be applied to every situation.
You can be sure those rules won’t take into account what’s best for your children. The person who ends up with custody of them could be the one person you’d never want your kids to be with.
What about taxes? Those rules won’t do anything to minimize taxes on your estate.
Let’s not forget unique situations, like co-owning property. If three people own a house and one dies without a will, the other two have equal say. One can force a sale. Or they can fight over it. These situations can drag on for years.
It can even affect your funeral. If you don’t have a will that spells out your plans, your loved ones will have to make the arrangements. I’ve seen situations where families couldn’t even buy a tombstone because they couldn’t agree on the one they wanted.
You need a will, and an executor who will make these decisions based on your choices.
At The Law Offices of Shane Smith, we recommend that when you are in good health and making clear decisions, come in and discuss your situation with us to see what type of estate plan is appropriate for you.
You deserve to be comfortable knowing that when something happens to you, your wishes will be followed.