Most Americans do not have a will or trust. But just because the majority of people in this country aren’t prepared for that eventuality doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be. Whether you need a will or a trust is a conversation for a different day. Why do you need any document?
Here’s a look at 10 great reasons you need a will in Arizona:
- Designate Who Is In Charge Of Your Estate
One of the most important reasons you need a will is to denote who is in charge of your estate. If you don’t choose what is known as a “personal representative,” one is appointed by the courts of Arizona. This person is in charge of the distribution of your estate, among other important responsibilities. By not having a will, you’re leaving this critical decision in the court’s hands. If you have a will, you can nominate the person you trust to handle your affairs promptly and with integrity. What if the court was to choose your power hungry Aunt Meanypants to be in charge of the distribution of your estate? She could create unnecessary problems for grieving family members with her incompetence and trickery.
- Prevent Familial Disagreements
A will provides for a clear division of assets, which can go a long way toward preventing familial disagreements. For example, if you own jewelry from your grandparents but you know that several of your children, nieces and nephews, or cousins may want these items, it may be time to get a will. When your directives are spelled out clearly, your family won’t be left feuding. They may not like who you left everything to, but there’s no ambiguity. It’s done. Without a will your assets will be divided according to the intestate probate statutes. This may not follow your individual wishes.
- Ease the Grieving Process
The regulations regarding the division of your assets when you die without a will are complex and vary from state to state. Your assets might not go to whom you would expect or want. Since your family may find it difficult to cope with the grieving process during this time, don’t complicate their lives with messy financial matters. You can also spell out your burial and funeral wishes, thus giving them one less thing to worry about or event fight about. Let them know, officially, whether you want a burial or cremation. I’ve even had a client specify that he wanted to buried in jeans and his favorite tee shirt.
- Reduce Estate Taxes
It’s difficult to know what elements you should include in your will if you don’t meet with a professional or use a professional legal service. For example, you need to understand exactly how estate taxes can come into play and impact your heirs. Setting up a trust may allow you to significantly reduce these taxes.
- Not as Expensive or Difficult as You Think
The money you spend on preparing your testamentary documents will likely be much less than the money your estate will spend on a probate without a will or trust in place. The investment is sound for financial reasons, but also for emotional purposes as discussed above.
- Designate Guardians for the Kids
If your spouse has already passed (or possibly passes with you), a will is needed to designate guardians for your children. Without a will, this decision will be made by the courts. When it comes to such an important topic as the care and welfare of your kids, you always want to be the one who makes that decision, and it’s difficult to do this without a will.
- Maintain a Small Business
Another excellent reason to have a will is that it allows you to outline the specific plan for your assets, including a business that you may own in Arizona. The last thing you want to do is leave behind a business with no definite plan for succession or future earnings.
- Minimize Probate
All non-trust estates go through probate, whether you have a will or not. However, when a will is in place the process is much easier in Arizona. Having a clear-cut document with instructions on how to divide your assets also helps to avoid delays in decision-making regarding your estate.
9.You Never Know When You Might Pass
Although most of us like to think we’ll live for a very long time, that’s not always the case. An accident or medical event can occur at any moment, at any age. That’s why having a will is so important, even for younger people.
10.Plan for your Pets
You can designate in your will who will take your surviving pets or even who will be in charge of finding your surviving pets a new loving home. While your greater concern is probably about your children, Fluffy will be lost without a plan in place. Don’t leave Fluffy out wandering the streets.
Get your will together today. In the event of your untimely passing, your family and loved ones deserve it. www.stuartandblackwell.com Call Stuart & Blackwell today for a free estate planning consultation in Chandler, Arizona. 480-420-2900.