A recent report from Canada indicates that as much as 45% of the population does not leave an acceptable will upon the death of the principal. The consequences of this neglect usually cause ill will among family members and significant others as well as costing the estate large sums of equity.
In cases where there is no will, the court is mandated to intervene and distribute assets according to either state laws or their own judgment, depending on the state and country. In addition to filing fees, court fees can cost as much as $300 per hour. It does not take very long to eat away large sums and if there is a dispute, the fees can quickly reduce the size of the estate.
With today’s complicated marital structures, family compositions and the existence of divorce and emergence of significant others, there are many factors for a court to consider. The only person who really knows what the intended distribution of assets should be is the deceased.
While we do not like to consider our own mortality, life’s events often catch us by surprise. When it comes to the creation of a will, avoidance leads to bitter legal disputes as heirs vie in their own best interests. Family members who have spent their lives holding spouses and siblings together and creating whatever wealth they have been able to accumulate face the strong probability that the family unit will be destroyed by the absence of a duly executed will.
Additionally, the absence of a will and the ensuing court distribution of assets do not generally create the most favorable tax structure. It is all so unnecessary. With a bit of forethought and perhaps some accounting and legal advice, anyone can create a will at any time.
This is the deceased’s opportunity to divide the estate in the manner most fitting and precisely to their liking. The biggest motivation in creating an original will is to assure that your wishes are followed and that there is no mistaking your wishes. Property should be distributed to the heirs of your choosing.
Regardless of the size of the estate, a will makes a lot of legal and common sense. The originator can always change the will as time moves along. Most people review their will periodically and make adjustment as life unfolds. The only question is why wait? Your family and loved one’s futures are at stake and your own personal sense of setting the world right is important. Even if you are young, creating your will today and maintaining it periodically will assure your wishes for the distribution of your life’s work.