Every person should have an estate plan. It is the only way to ensure the handling of personal business after death goes smoothly. The basic document everyone needs to have is a will.
If a person has no other estate planning, a will lays out some important details that can help the family after a death.
Even if a person does not have assets worth a lot of money, he or she will probably still have personal items to leave to loved ones. These may be things of sentimental value, or they might be something they wish to leave to charity. Whatever the case, a will allows for a clear direction on what to do with personal effects.
Anyone with minor children needs a will to outline what is to happen with them after the parent’s death. This is essential in cases where there is only one parent who cares for the children. Dying without a will dictating guardianship will mean the state steps in and potentially, the children will go into foster care. A will lays out a plan and allows the children to avoid entering the state system.
If a person owns any type of property, even if it is just a vehicle, it is important to say who that will go to. Any paid-off and fully owned property is something a person can and should pass on to someone else. A will allows this to happen.
People should keep in mind that without a will or any type of estate planning, the state makes decisions about what happens with a person’s assets after they die. Inheritance laws dictate who will receive money or assets left behind. A will gives a person control and allows them to make the decisions.