Perhaps creating a will is something you haven’t given a great deal of thought to, but it is a vital part of estate planning that can save you and your loved ones from a painful and difficult ordeal in the event of your death. A qualified attorney can help you with estate planning and get your affairs in order now to prevent potential headache and heartache in the future.
A will is a legally binding document that allows you to set the parameters for how your estate will be handled when you pass away, and by doing so ensures you have the most control over what happens to your property after your death. If there is no valid will, your estate will be passed to your closest living relative, and if you have no known next of kin that is able to be located, your property will then belong to the state, although this is a very rare occurrence.
In the state of Utah, if you die without a will your property and assets will fall under “intestate succession” law. This means your closest relatives are automatically given control of your estate regardless of whether this goes along with your wishes. In order for your wishes to mean anything in court, you must have a will set in place to ensure that what you leave behind will go to the people you designate.
Let’s say you pass away and you are married with children but have no will, your spouse will inherit your assets. If you have children and no spouse, your children will split your legacy equally. From there, things begin to get a little more complicated, and this is why estate planning is so important.
For instance, if you die while married but you have children from a previous marriage, your spouse gets $75,000 and half the balance of your assets, with the remaining half of your assets being split equally among your children. Grandchildren or great-grandchildren are next in queue if you do not have a living spouse or children, followed by your parents, siblings, and finally, more distant relatives such as cousins, aunts, or uncles.
By creating a will, you are able to outline exactly what you want to give to anyone in your life. Setting a will in place can also help curtail any animosity and arguments over who gets what from your estate. Often times, the death of a family member can bring out the worst in some people, so it’s good to have some boundaries already in place.
In addition to managing your assets, creating a will allows you to decide who will be guardian of your minor children in the event something were to happen to you. Without a will, the court will select a caregiver out of your remaining family members, and this runs the risk of your children being raised by someone you would not want raising them.
Another benefit to estate planning and drafting a will is naming the executor of your estate. This person may or may not be family, but you want it to be a responsible individual you can trust to administrate over any unfinished business, such as cancelling various accounts you have in your name, paying off bills, and notifying the bank and any other businesses you dealt with of your passing.
Some things that do not fall under intestate succession laws are living trusts you have set up, life insurance proceeds, retirement funds, beneficiary deeds, or property you co-own with another person. These things will pass to the person you previously named as beneficiary, regardless of whether or not you have a will.
Writing out a will may sound like a daunting process, but the Law Offices of Ryan E Simpson, P.C. can help you iron out your estate planning in Salt Lake City. Put Ryan’s expertise to work for you now so you can rest easy with the peace of mind knowing that when you are gone, your requests will be carried out.