Here’s a shocking fact: approximately 70% of Americans don’t have a will. A will is a fairly simple legal document to create so why do so many people avoid it? Just a few reasons might include: I don’t have anything to leave to my heirs; I’ve got plenty of time to write my will; bad things don’t happen to good people; I can’t afford it, etc.
After all, no one really wants to think about their own death, let alone prepare for it. In reality, though, preparing by creating a will is exactly what we should all be doing. Protecting the people you love most is the main reason to consider drafting a will and to not waste any time in doing so.
Despite not wanting to think about death, the reality of it is inevitable. If you have not prepared by writing a will, then you are risking both your own wishes and the outcome for those you love. This is especially important for parents.
If you haven’t put together your will, then your children’s future can be in serious jeopardy. For example, you may assume that your property would simply pass on to your kids, but the courts may have other ideas. Additionally, other family members (such as a new spouse) may step in and take things that you always assumed would be given to your children.
The most extreme example, however, likely comes along with guardianship. In order to ensure that your children are raised in the fashion you deem appropriate, you need to specify their guardians. This is done through the will, and the best way to make sure your wishes are known is to work with a skilled Alabama wills and trusts lawyer now, before the issue is completely out of your hands.
Some Alabama residents feel that they don’t need a will simply because they are married. They assume that if they were to die, their assets, property, children, etc. would automatically pass to the spouse. In some rare cases, this may not be true, as others may have a legitimate claim to an inheritance when a will hasn’t been written.
Though it’s terrifying to imagine, there is also the possibility of both spouses being killed at one time. In situations like that, there is no surviving spouse to speak up for the children or to have a say in the distribution of assets. Again, the courts will have a much bigger say in the outcome of your estate than you would probably be comfortable with.
Creating a will doesn’t have to be an overly complicated process. By consulting with a talented Huntsville wills and estate attorney to ensure you are covering the basics and fulfilling any legal requirements applicable to Alabama residents. While it’s certainly not ideal to spend time imagining what would happen to your family and assets after your death, doing so now can make a profound difference later. If you have questions or concerns contact the attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. today.
Source: “Tell Your Family You Love Them — Write Your Will,” by Marcia Brixey, published at Forbes.com.