We are all going to eventually die: A Simple Will can save your Loved ones. In this article, we will discuss what happens if you die without a will.
Most of us are very busy just living our lives to worry about the day we finally die and pass to whatever each individual thinks will comes next. But as we grow older, thoughts start to seep in that it might be time to consider getting things in order. That means having a WILL and some life insurance to make sure things go smoothly after you pass.
While many want to get things in order for their final days. Finding the time and sometimes motivation can be another story. It would be nice if we could wait until our very LAST day and then magically pull everything together (believe it or not, about 60% of Americans are using that as their game plan), but the fact is sometimes our bodies or are minds won’t allow us to do things like purchase life insurance, and have a viable will in place before we die.
Things Need to be Done When we Have Energy.
If you die without a will, it will be left to a court and lawyers and red tape to figure out what to do with your belongings. It can be so complex that this can lead to many family issues. We have heard repeated reports from our clients, that when other members of their families passed, feuding members of the surviving family went to a virtual war with each other.
Now luckily, not all Americans are sleeping at the wheel when it comes to preparation. Surveys have found that 40 to 45 percent of adults in America have taken the time to prepare a will. Thank God, there families will have a chance to have things settled without a relations Civil War.
Some folks think that wills and trusts won’t hold up in court, but studies have shown that as many as 97% of them, will hold up in court. It’s simple, the courts don’t want to make thing more complex that they already are. They also want to honor your wishes.
Now granted, you probably don’t want to write your will on a napkin at your favorite local eatery (there could be a concern by a court that such a document was forged), but as long as you follow some simple guidelines found online or with a local attorney, your will should be solid.
The Principles of Having a Simple Will
Wills are simply legal documents that allow for the passing of owned goods to the surviving generation. Whether it be your spouse, your kids, you best friends or in fact anyone you deem fit, you need this written document to show to the court, that this is what you wanted done.
Now in some cases there will be taxes involved, but due to relaxed lower limits on inherited property, in most normal cases, that tax bite should be small or non-existent. You can check with a family accountant to verify what you might owe.
The legal jargon surrounding a will can be confusing to normal folk who just want to live their lives and not become unlicensed closet attorneys.
But just so you have the basic knowledge let’s take a look at some quick definitions to help you along.
Probate: How the estate will be divided among your loved ones
Executor: The person that is in charge of paying off debts and have wishes respected. This person is chosen by the person writing the will in advance of death.
Estate: Every single thing owned by the person writing the will. For example ones house, ones car, ones diamonds or ones Cat. These are the things the person owns and when they die, these things need to find a new home as part of the estate.
Testator: The one who is actually writing the will to declare what they want done when they die.
Various Types of Wills to Consider
Keep in mind, each state is different when it comes to wills. Luckily most common wills are fairly universal. So if you take the time to prepare a will that matches the Estate you have, you will have a fairly simple choice of written products.
Some Wills Many of Us May Encounter:
Death-Bed Will … These are folks that have delayed making a formal will and instead just as they die, they write down what they want done with their Estate. These are very often contested in court, because there is always the question of the persons mindset. Very bad to do things this way, but as we said previously, about 60% of Americans will be considering this for their end of life game plan.
Living Will … This has to do with Medical care. Will you be pulled off life support (for example) if you were to get into a car accident and become a vegetable. Folks who are very well prepared take the time to write one of these up and have it properly notarized.
Simple Will … This is the type of will most of us might have who don’t have wealth and riches of a Warren Buffet or a CEO from a major corporation.
What Happens if you Never Take the Time to do a WILL Before you Die?
If you die with no will, it’s going to be in the courts hands as to what happens next. Laws vary from state to state and you can only hope that you won’t have to hire a lawyer as they will have no hesitation billing you heavily on an hour by hour basis.
Do you really want to trust a judge to decide what happens to everything you collected (money and otherwise) during the course of your life? We all would like to trust the legal system, but how many of us can really say that we DO trust any part of our legal system.
What if YOU Have 4 Children and no Will and Were to Die?
Even if the 4 had a good relationship previously, as soon property and money get involved, strange things happen. Suddenly, as we said earlier, you have a family at war.
How sad. And only because the time was not taken to properly prepare for ones inevitable demise. The greatest men and women of all time have one thing in common. Eventually, they all die.
And then all heck breaks loose if things are not properly prepared for such as a will or some form of life insurance, including burial coverage to make sure cremation or a more traditional in ground burial don’t put the family into financial ruin.
The court appoints an administrator. Some judges have big hearts and take into consideration what the deceased may have wanted. Other judges just want to move things along and pick the name they feel will handle things in a prompt manner.
Sometimes that manner does not match the desires of the family or the deceased, but at that point it is too late as the courts have kicked in and taken full control of the situation.
This is why it is so important to prepare. Not to just kick the can down the road hoping that everything will turn out just right.Things, most likely, will not turn out right for those who did not take the time to prepare.
Have your final wishes respected. It won’t take that long to prepare a simple will, have some form of life insurance in place and make sure your loved ones know you would be very unhappy with any form of dissent created from your passing.
Gary P. Cubeta
(Serving Americans In All 50 States)