Why Do I Need A Will? (Part 2)
August 15, 2019
BY: Ned Hamil, Chairman Deermeadows Baptist Permanent Endowment Fund Committee
This is Part Two (2) in a Four (4) part series presenting ideas you may want to consider in ensuring that your wishes are carried out through a will or trust. In working through this process you might consider leaving a charitable gift to the Deermeadows Baptist Church Permanent Endowment Fund.
Why Do I Need A Will?
Almost everyone needs a will. If you die without a will (intestate), you will not have control as to who will inherit your assets. Basically, the court decides, distributing your property according to the laws of the state. It’s called probate, and it can be a costly and slow moving process.
Creating a will gives discretion over the distribution of your assets. It lets you decide how your real property, belongings (such as cash, investments, jewelry, cars or family heirlooms) should be distributed. If you have a business or investments, your will can direct the transition of those assets.
Even more importantly, if you have minor children, a will lets you designate specifically whom you want to get custody, so the court can follow your wishes.
If you DON’T have a will, this is generally how Probate plays out:
If you are married with minor children, your surviving spouse and children inherit your assets. The formula often results in half of your estate going to your spouse and the other half going to your minor children.
Further complications can arise if there is no surviving spouse and your children are minors. The court will appoint a representative to look after their interests. If you have minor children, the state will choose their guardians unless you have appointed a guardian.
If you are single and childless, state law will likely determine which of your relatives will inherit your financial assets and property and in what proportion.
If you are charitably inclined, a will lets you direct a portion of your assets to the charity of your choice. Likewise, if you wish to leave a portion of your assets to an institution or an organization, a will can see that your wishes are carried out. This is a good place to remember the Deermeadows Endowment Fund.
The next article will discuss the proper execution of your will and will give a discussion of assets that do not pass thru the will.
Disclaimer: This information is not to be considered as legal, financial or investment advice. One should contact their CPA, Financial Advisor or attorney to determine appropriate actions for your individual situation. You may feel free to contact a member of the Deermeadows Endowment Committee for general information about the topics discussed.
Sources for this article (s) include a variety of publications and articles.