7 Benefits of Having a Will
Technically speaking, you won’t care about the division of your estate once you’re gone, but your family will. Here are seven benefits of having a will.
- You determine your beneficiaries and how your estate is divided.
Your will is legally binding. You decide how your estate is handled when you die. It minimizes family fights because you’ve outlined who gets what and how. Without a will, the court is placed in charge of your estate and will determine who receives the assets.
- Your will outlines who will take care of your minor children.
If you worry about which of your family members will be there for your underage children on your death, you need a will. Without one, the court decides.
- You leave someone in charge of handling your estate.
As part of your will, you name an executor, a person who makes sure your affairs are in order. You don’t have to name a family member as your executor, but it should be someone you trust and who is organized. It’s largely an administrative position, but it can be a big job.
- Your will lets you make gifts and donations.
If you want to leave a legacy to someone outside your family, you need a will. You can leave gifts to individuals, up to a certain amount that is excluded from estate tax. It can help your beneficiaries receive more of your estate.
- A will avoids legal challenges.
Every family has its issues. When you have a will, it outlines your wishes. You can exclude people from inheriting or include close relatives that might not otherwise inherit. There may be a family member who thinks to challenge the will, but the court will likely let your wishes stand.
- Your will alleviates stress on your family.
No one is guaranteed tomorrow. A death in the family is stressful enough but having to deal with an estate that doesn’t have a will puts even more stress on the family. Thoughtful estate planning helps your family have the money to pay for your funeral and to take care of themselves while the legal matters are being sorted out. Leaving your family without a will puts your estate at risk.
- A will leaves your affairs in order.
If you have debts and liabilities on your death, someone is going to have to deal with those things. By having a will, you leave someone the power to manage the issues.
Talk to an estate planning lawyer in Memphis, TN about your estate plan.
Thanks to Patterson Bray, for their insight into estate planning and the benefits of having a will.