Top 5 Dangers of Not Having a Will

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Top 5 Dangers of Not Having a Will

If you’re an unmarried 20 or 30 something, you may think you don’t need a will. However, if you have assets and/or own property, you’ll want to speak with an estate planning attorney about putting your wishes in writing.

When you have a will, you’ll ensure that your assets and/or your property are transferred to a designated heir according to your wishes. Below are just a few of the dangers of not having a will.

Contested heirs

Several years ago, we were contacted by a woman who wanted to learn more about estate planning. Her 29-year-old brother had died unexpectedly a few months prior and he didn’t have a will, which caused quite a bit of infighting among family members after he passed.

Her brother owned a home outright at the time of his death, and in the state where he lived, the rule was that his assets were to be split between the surviving parents. His parents had undergone a very messy divorce about 10 years prior and he’d been estranged from his father ever since. Since he passed without a will, his parents found themselves engaged in an expensive, lengthy and emotionally taxing legal battle.

Spendthrift heirs

If you have teenage or young adult children who aren’t equipped to handle large sums of money, if you die without a will and they receive a large sum of cash all at once, it can do more harm than good. When you establish a will (or better yet, a trust), you can designate how and when they receive monetary amounts. This can ensure that the money that you intend to spend on their college education is spent on educational expenses—as opposed to being spent on an expensive new car.

Probate in multiple states

Let’s say you own homes in California and Colorado. If you die without a will, pieces of your estate will need to go through probate. Not only is probate time consuming and costly, probate in multiple states can lead to your heirs needing to hire multiple attorneys in multiple states.

Your beneficiaries may not like the court-appointed executor

As a general rule of thumb, family members make better executors than a court-appointed executor. A court-appointed executor will likely require more time to take inventory of your assets, have the assets appraised and take steps to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries.

When you have a will, you can designate a trusted friend or family member to handle this on your behalf.

Call The Law Network PC today to learn more about estate planning solutions

At the Law Network PC, we understand that you likely have a number of questions about the importance of estate planning and the importance of having a will.

When you contact our office, you’ll be connected with a seasoned, highly-trained estate planning attorney who will take as much time as needed to answer your questions and address your concerns.

For more information about how The Law Network PC can assist you with protecting and distributing your assets when you’re no longer of this earth, call us today at 303-267-1111 to get started.

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