It’s understandable for people to avoid estate planning or thinking about what will happen after they die. However, writing your will is a crucial part of taking care of your family before your death.
Writing a will ensures that all of your belongings will go to your family after you die instead of getting caught up in probate court. A will gives your loved ones instructions as to what you want to happen and is, in essence, your final way of saying goodbye to them.
What happens to your family?
It’s normal to put off writing or updating your will. If you die before a will is written, all of your belongings get tied up in probate court. Which family members get what will come down to whatever the laws of your state are.
In most states, all of your belongings will go to your next of kin. This can be a surviving spouse or your oldest child. However, without a will, even this easy process can take much longer than needed or necessary. In addition, this can leave some people in the lurch, like the oldest children if the surviving spouse isn’t their parent.
Of course, there are options for your family to dispute what the probate court does, but it’s all very expensive and can lead to a lengthy courtroom battle. Most families do not have the funds to battle what probate court determines, especially if they weren’t given anything.
The arguments over who should get what can tear families apart and lead to long-lasting resentment. In addition to saving your family money in probate court, you’ll want to leave a will in order to ease the process after your death.